It is important to note that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiencies globally. Even though it is quite common in developing countries, many women still suffer from low iron. Due to the regular loss of blood during menstruation, women are more vulnerable. Nutritional and economic factors put some women in minority groups at higher risk for low iron and its associated health consequences. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of low iron, an accurate diagnose can be given and proper treatment can be started.
What it feels if I have low iron?
Low iron in the body causes symptoms as it worsens. The symptoms are subjective which means that those around the individual will not notice that there is something wrong, but the individual does not feel right.
Mild cases of low iron might not trigger evident symptoms. As for severe cases of iron deficiency, the likelihood of the symptoms increases. The usual symptom of iron deficiency is fatigue in which athletic performance can be affected.
The other common symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches and a feeling of coldness in the feet and hands. An unusual symptom of iron deficiency is craving for non-food items such as paint, ice or dirt which is called pica.
What are the observable symptoms?
The indications of a condition include objective manifestations that the individual or others can see. Once low iron is suspected, observe for pale skin, brittle nails, rapid heart rate, swollen tongue, cracks at the side of the mouth and frequent or recurrent infections.
The paleness is oftentimes more evident in areas such as the lower eyelid. The heart rate of women usually beats 70-90 times per minute while at rest. The resting heart rate above 100 might indicate iron deficiency, but there are other possible causes. For mild cases of low iron, there might be no indications of illness at all.
When to seek care
Always bear in mind that iron is required for the production of blood. Most of the iron in the body is contained in hemoglobin which is the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Inadequate iron can result to a diminished number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in circulation. Reduced blood cells that carry less oxygen can manifest in physical indications of iron-deficiency anemia. If not dealt with early, iron deficiency anemia can cause heart palpitations, fainting or chest pain. The immune system can become burdened to the point that infections can become severe or even life-threatening.
What should you do?
Women can become deficient in iron for various reasons, ranging from poor nutrition to intestinal bleeding. Identification of the underlying cause of low iron can determine the suitable form of treatment.
The individual should not take iron supplements based on the signs and symptoms alone. Excessive iron can also cause issues. Most of the causes of iron deficiency are not serious and easily managed. As long as an accurate diagnosis is given, the doctor can direct the right path to recovery.