The signs of low iron appear when we are not ingesting enough of this vital mineral. Low iron levels are very common, with many of us not even realising we are affected. We are all likely to know someone who has needed an iron supplement, or we may have taken one ourselves. This is because iron deficiency is the top nutritional deficiency in the world. Let us take you through the four most common signs of low iron, so you can get back to feeling energised.
Why Do We Need Iron?
Iron is an essential element which is required for numerous cellular metabolic functions. There are lots of benefits of iron when we have the right amount in our bodies. Most importantly, it is needed by the body to create red blood cells. Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin which helps to transport oxygen throughout the body. Having low iron levels can make it difficult for the red blood cells to be produced. Ultimately leading to an iron deficiency. One of the main signs of low iron is how tired it can make us feel! Taking iron supplements can help us counteract the signs of low iron easily.
What are the Main Signs of Low Iron?
Each mineral and vitamin deficiency has its own symptoms, we’ve put together four of the most common signs of low iron. From experiencing tiredness when low in iron, to craving odd items to eat.
1. Low Iron Makes You Tired & Fatigued
A feeling of fatigue and tiredness is one of the most common signs of iron deficiency. Especially if it does not go away with rest. Iron helps to form haemoglobin, which is required by the body to carry oxygen from the lungs and transport it throughout the body. Without sufficient iron in the body, it is unable to make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Which, ultimately leads to a negative impact on your energy levels. Your energy levels will be lowered because the lack of oxygen causes you and your muscles to feel tired. A lack of other vital vitamins and nutrients can also lead to low energy. Taking natural energy supplements, including both iron and B12, can help you to increase your levels over time.
2. Pale Skin
Paleness over the body can indicate low levels of iron. From bad skin health which needs hydrating to brittle nails, it is something to look out for. This is due to low levels of haemoglobin that give the blood its red colour. It is also what gives our skin its rosy colour. If haemoglobin levels are low, the red blood cells become smaller and paler meaning our skin also becomes paler. Taking skin supplements can help to promote healthy skin across the body.
3. Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing can be a sign of low iron, especially if you undertake regular physical activity. This is because the lack of iron present means that the body is unable to move oxygen from the lungs around the body. Thus reducing oxygen levels and increasing your breathing rate as your body tries to get more oxygen. Natural sports supplements can help to keep your levels in check, so you can focus on performing your best and not catching your breath.
One of the less common symptoms of low iron is pica. Pica is the compulsion to eat non-food items. Traditionally, this can range from ice cubes to dirt and plaster! It is still not fully understood how low iron levels cause this behaviour in people. This effect can be commonly seen more through pregnancy and in children. Taking our pregnancy supplements and children's supplements, can help you to receive the vital nutrients you need to live a healthy lifestyle.
3 Less Common Symptoms of Low Iron
Although these are the most common signs of iron deficiency, these are not the only symptoms you could experience. Other less common signs can include:
- restless legs
- brittle or concave nails
- dry hair and skin
Why So Many Symptoms?
Looking at this range of symptoms for low iron you may wonder why low levels of iron can present itself in so many ways. This is because iron plays a part in so many normal body functions. Therefore when we are low in this vital nutrient it can present itself in a variety of ways across our body.
Experiencing one or more of these low iron signs may indicate you have an iron deficiency. If this is the case, consider an at home nutrient test kit to check your levels and consult your GP.
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