4 signs that may indicate iron deficiency

Many people understand the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet. But even with healthy choices, we can lack some nutrients that are essential for the functioning of the body.

This could be the case with iron, a mineral found mainly in red meat along with other sources. Iron is known to be essential in the body to help form hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. These cells are essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Without enough iron, red blood cells become smaller and carry less hemoglobin, so they are unable to carry as much oxygen.

In the early stages of iron deficiency, there may be no symptoms because the body is able to use iron storage sites such as the muscles and liver. But when this iron is depleted and none is consumed through food or supplements, anemia begins to set in.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), 4 symptoms of iron deficiency will be noticeable at mealtimes:
– Suffering from difficulty swallowing
Painful tongue
– Change in the sense of taste
Desire to eat non-food items

And if you notice any of these signs, it’s worth a visit to your doctor, where they can test your blood to see if you’re deficient in iron.

To combat iron deficiency, your doctor may recommend adding or increasing your intake of certain iron-rich foods, including:
Liver (it is recommended to avoid this during pregnancy)
– red meat
Beans (such as kidney beans), kidney beans and chickpeas
– Nuts
Dried fruits, such as dried apricots
Fortified breakfast cereals
Soybean flour

Some people, including vegetarians, may struggle to consume enough iron through their diet, so daily supplementation may be required.

In some cases, iron deficiency may be caused by factors beyond your control, as NHS Inform says: ‘There are many things that can lead to a lack of iron in the body. In men and postmenopausal women, the most common cause is stomach bleeding. This can be caused by stomach ulcers, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, or by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).In women of childbearing age, pregnancy is the most common cause of iron deficiency anemia. The body needs more iron for the baby during pregnancy.”

The most common signs of iron deficiency are fatigue, lack of energy (lethargy), shortness of breath, noticeable heart palpitations, and pale skin. It can also cause:
Headache
– buzzing
Feeling itchy
hair loss
Painful open sores at the corners of the mouth
Spoon-shaped nails

If you think you may be deficient in iron, see your doctor.



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