If you find yourself unusually tired even though you’re getting a decent amount of sleep, you could be iron deficient. Iron is used to create hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through your body. When you don’t have enough iron, you don’t have enough hemoglobin, and thus your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function properly.
Shortness of Breath
Similarly, if you find yourself breathing harder than usual after minor exertion or seemingly normal activities like walking, you may not have enough iron. Muscles need oxygen to perform, and if your body isn’t transporting oxygen efficiently, it’s going to think it needs more to get the job done. Be incredibly mindful of this symptom and don’t over do it.
If you experience an irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations, iron deficiency could be the culprit. When you don’t have enough hemoglobin, your heart has to work harder to get oxygen to your tissues. If you haven’t been diagnosed with iron deficiency or are noticing your irregular heartbeats seem too regular, schedule an appointment to have your doctor run further testing.
While headaches can seem like a common health problem, low hemoglobin and iron levels can cause frequent, persisting headaches. If your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, blood vessels will swell and cause pressure and pain. Dizziness can also accompany iron deficiency related headaches.
Pale Skin and Eyelids
Hemoglobin is what gives blood its red color. When you’re properly oxygenated, your skin is a pinkish hue. If you’re experience paleness, both in your skin and inside your lower eyelids, you may be iron deficient. If you notice this symptom, don’t ignore it, because it’s often a symptom of more serious or severe anemia.
Diagnosing Iron Deficiency
Low iron levels left untreated for a long period of time can lead to iron deficiency, making it incredibly important to take note if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and discuss a simple blood test to confirm the issue with your doctor. While some people can take over-the-counter iron supplements to address their issues, others will need a more direct approach such as regular infusions.