Are you worried about iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency happens when you have a lack of hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This is the protein responsible for carrying oxygen around your body.
If you’re not a medical professional, it can be scary to think you’re lacking something so important. You might not understand what caused it or what you can do to improve the condition.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Keep reading for our guide on iron deficiency symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Iron Deficiency Anemia Symptoms
The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can manifest as mild to start with. In fact, you might not even notice them at first. The symptoms to look out for include the following:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Food cravings for non-food items like ice, dirt, or clay
- Tingling in the lower legs
- Soreness or swelling of the tongue
- Poor circulation in the hands and feet
- Brittle nails
- Irregular or fast heartbeats
If you notice any of these signs of anemia it’s best to book a blood test with your doctor. The sooner you catch iron deficiency, the faster you can help your body get the amounts it needs.
What Causes Iron Deficiency?
Iron deficiency is one of the most common types of anemia. There are a few different reasons it can occur, including the following.
Not Getting Enough Iron
Over a long period of time, not eating enough iron can lead to your body experiencing a shortage. But iron is essential for growth, so children and pregnant women need more.
Pregnancy or Excess Blood Loss During to Menstruation
For women of childbearing age, the most common reason is heavy menstrual bleeding. It can also come as a result of losing a lot of blood during childbirth.
Some medical conditions can cause internal bleeding, which in turn can lead to anemia. Conditions include stomach ulcers, colon/intestinal polyps, or colon cancer.
Inability to Keep Iron
Some intestinal disorders or surgeries can affect the way your body takes in iron. Celiac disease or a gastric bypass for example can limit how much iron your body takes in. Even if you get the right daily amounts.
Endometriosis is a disorder that affects women and causes heavy blood loss. It’s often not spotted at first because it hides in the pelvic or abdominal areas.
How to Treat Iron Deficiency
Once your doctor knows what’s causing your iron deficiency they’ll help decide how to fix it. But here are the most common ways to treat it.
Iron supplements will help increase and balance the levels in your body. Where possible, take them on an empty stomach to help them absorb better.
It can take a few months to see results and they can cause black stools or constipation. Iron tablets from Vitabiotics are a good choice.
Improving your diet to include more iron-rich foods can help increase iron levels too. Include foods like:
- Red meats
- Leafy, dark green vegetables
- Iron-fortified cereals
- Dried fruits
Making sure you get enough vitamin C will also help your body absorb the iron it needs.
Addressing the Cause of Bleeding
If bleeding is the cause, taking supplements won’t fix it until you address this issue. For women with heavy periods, birth control often helps. For severe cases, doctors may recommend a blood transfusion.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms, Causes, and Cures Made Simple
So, there you have it! Now you know these iron deficiency symptoms, causes, and cures, you know what you’re up against.
If you notice any symptoms at all or have any worries, you must consult your doctor right away. They’ll be able to do the blood tests needed to check your iron levels and get you on a treatment plan if needed.
For more healthcare information, check out our other blog posts today.