Iron is an essential mineral. The body needs it to produce hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron is also used to make myoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen to muscle tissue, and certain hormones.
Unfortunately, many people are deficient in iron. In fact, iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency in the world. Keep an eye out for these warning signs of low iron levels:
Extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by other factors could indicate an iron deficiency. When the body doesn’t have enough iron and can’t produce adequate levels of hemoglobin, the tissues are starved of oxygen. This can lead to noticeable fatigue.
Iron deficiency has been linked to headaches. This may be due to the connection between iron, dopamine function, and estrogen levels.
Skin that’s paler than normal may be a sign of low iron levels. Since hemoglobin makes blood red, iron deficiency can diminish blood’s vibrant red color. The skin may then appear paler or less warm.
Shortness of Breath
Given that hemoglobin helps transport oxygen throughout the body, iron deficiency can lead to low oxygen levels. This may, in turn, cause shortness of breath. With this symptom, you may notice that day-to-day activities, like walking up stairs, make you feel out of breath more quickly than usual.
Dry Hair and Skin
Hemoglobin is essential to deliver adequate oxygen to the hair and skin. So, some people with iron deficiency experience dry and/or damaged hair and skin.
Brittle fingernails that become damaged easily are an early sign of iron deficiency. If the deficiency progresses, nails may become spoon-shaped (also known as koilonychia).
If you’re struggling with symptoms of an iron deficiency, the experienced team at Mind Body Spirit Care can recommend a personalized treatment plan to restore healthy levels of this important mineral. Schedule your appointment now!