10 unusual signs of iron deficiency

What does it mean to be iron deficient? An iron deficiency is a type of anemia. It is a condition in which the blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells, and therefore causes a shortage of iron in the body. Bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without enough iron, the body can't produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. This type of anemia is often caused by blood loss, such as from heavy menstrual bleeding, an ulcer, cancer, a polyp somewhere in your digestive system, and prolonged use of aspirin or drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia may include:

1.     Extreme fatigue and exhaustion. One of the most common signs of iron deficiency because it means your body is having trouble carrying the oxygen to your cells so it’s affecting your energy levels.

2.     Frequent infections. Iron plays a key role in a healthy immune system, so lower levels of the mineral can make someone more susceptible to infections.

3.     Pale skin. Hemoglobin gives skin its color, so low levels cause the skin to become lighter.

4.     Swollen tongue. Lack of oxygen can also cause muscles to enlarge and become painful.

5.     Restless Legs Syndrome. Some people who have iron deficiency develop restless legs syndrome.

6.     Pica. People with iron deficiency may develop cravings for non-food substances, such as clay, dirt, or chalk, a condition known as pica.

7.     Hair loss. Iron deficiency, especially when it develops into anemia, can cause hair loss.

8.     Chest pain or a fast heartbeat.

9.     Shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness.

10.  Cold hands and feet.