Often, our bodies have ways of expressing deficiencies, it’s important that we sit up and take notice. Iron is an essential nutrient for the human body and a crucial component in haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein found in our red blood cells. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the entire body and returns carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs. Sustained deficiency of haemoglobin can eventually lead to anaemia. Check for the following 7 symptoms to determine if you have an iron deficiency.

Symptoms of an Iron Deficiency:

Severe Fatigue and Exhaustion
This is caused due to the lack of oxygen carried through to the cells in your body, which can affect your energy levels. This kind of exhaustion cannot be alleviated with sufficient rest.

Frequent Infections
Iron is critical in managing your body’s immune system, a lack of it can make your body more prone to periodic infections. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the spleen, which is an important organ in warding off infections.

Pale Skin
Haemoglobin infuses the skin with a warm, rosy hue. A lack of it can result in lightened, paler skin. Dr. Murr, at the School of Medicine at the University of Texas says,

When red blood cells become low with iron, they become smaller and paler in the centre so skin also becomes paler

Hair Loss
When hair follicles are deprived of oxygen, they become dormant. Anything in excess of 100 strands, lost per day, could indicate a deficiency.

Pica
Craving unusual, inedible elements such as chalk, wax and mud could be a sign of deficiency. This causes a condition known as Pica.

Breathlessness
Getting out of breath whilst doing normal activities could mean that oxygen levels are low. Low levels of oxygen, are caused by its insufficient retention in the haemoglobin molecule.

Restless Leg Syndrome
If you are feeling fidgety and can’t get your legs to stop moving? Your body might be telling you that you need more iron. This syndrome causes you to compulsively move your legs, to combat a tingling feeling that makes it tough to focus.

If you relate to any or most of these symptoms, it may be time to schedule a ferritin test to measure your body’s iron stores.

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