Iron is a mineral that your body needs to help red blood cells carry oxygen through your body.
By four months of age, breastfed babies need an additional source of iron until they can eat iron-rich foods.
As you get older, it’s important to eat foods that contain iron to prevent iron deficiency. When your body is unable to get the oxygen it needs due to a lack of iron and therefore a lack of hemoglobin, muscles and tissues will not work properly.
When it comes to health management, understanding your iron level should be on the top of the list. Keep reading to discover five signs that you may be low in iron and what you can do about it.
1. Chronic Fatigue
Are you feeling unusually tired? When your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood around your body, you will end up feeling tired.
Since you may be tired for many different reasons, look for additional signs of iron deficiency like weakness, crankiness, and inability to concentrate.
2. Dizziness and Headaches
Headaches are seen particularly in women suffering from a lack of iron. They also most often occur coupled with lightheadedness or dizziness.
This may happen because the brain is not getting enough oxygen due to low levels of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.
3. Pale Skin
Hemoglobin gives blood its red color. Moderate or severe iron deficiency results in paleness in the face, lower inner eyelids, gums, and/or nails.
A doctor will look at these areas before using a blood test to confirm an iron deficiency.
4. Restless Legs
Do you have a strong urge to move your legs when you are sleeping or at rest? A quarter of the people who suffer from an iron deficiency are diagnosed with restless leg syndrome.
5. Dry/Damage Skin and Hair
Are you inexplicably losing hair…not just the normal amount you lose when combing, brushing, or washing your hair, but an unusual amount sometimes in clumps? When your hair and skin are lacking oxygen, they become weak and dry.
Your skin may become dry and chapped due to dying cells suffering from iron deficiency. Because the body prioritizes vital organs and body systems over skin and nails, dry hair and skin might be the first signs of iron deficiency.
Health Management and Healthy Living
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Now that you know part of what goes into health management, you’ll be on your way to dealing with your iron deficiency symptoms and living a healthy life. Be sure to talk to your doctor for recommendations regarding diet and before taking supplements or taking vitamins.
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