Iron Deficiency: 8 Signs you may have anaemia

Have you ever felt exhausted for no reason? You could be anaemic. Here are 8 common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency you need to know.

Have you ever felt exhausted for no reason? You could be anaemic. Here are 8 common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency you need to know.

Iron is a vital nutrient required for optimal growth and development of the body. Getting enough iron every day can have a great impact on your mood and energy levels. Iron is an essential mineral and is important for bodily functions such as oxygen transport, DNA synthesis and muscle metabolism, according to the World Health Organization. Clearly, an iron deficiency can interfere with mental and physical activity.

Iron deficiency is the most common type of anaemia, and it occurs when your body doesn't get enough iron. Iron is needed for our body to make hemoglobin the protein in your red blood cells that helps to carry oxygen to the tissues. When there isn't enough iron in your bloodstream, the rest of your body gets proper oxygen it requires.

What causes iron deficiency?

Common causes that lead to iron deficiency include inflammatory bowel movements, inadequate iron intake, elevated iron requirements, blood loss during periods, or internal bleeding.

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What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of the condition may vary according to the severity of the disease, age and other health factors. However, common signs and symptoms of iron deficiency may include:

Shortness of breath

When your body is unable to transport oxygen to muscles and tissues effectively, it tries to get more oxygen which increases your breathing rate. So, in case you feel out of breath while doing daily tasks, iron deficiency might be the one to blame.


With less oxygen reaching your tissues, you feel tired and deprived of energy. However, people ignore tiredness as a symptom of iron deficiency and think of it as a part of a regular, hectic life. Most people suffering from this problem might also experience weakness, crankiness and inability to concentrate.


Do you get frequent headaches? Low hemoglobin levels can interrupt the oxygen supply to the brain, causing the blood vessels to swell and create pressure. This can lead to headaches and lightheadedness.

Dry skin and hair

In most cases of iron deficiency, the lack of hemoglobin reduces the amount of oxygen available to the cells responsible for healthy hair growth. So, it may lead to hair loss. It can also make your skin dry and lead to skin problems.

Swollen mouth and tongue

If you ever notice swelling and soreness of the tongue and mouth, get your iron levels checked. Cracks at the corners of the mouth, mouth ulcers, burning feeling in the mouth and dry mouth are also some signs you might experience.

Restless leg syndrome

Ever got an unpleasant, crawling and itchy feeling in your feet and legs? It could be a sign of iron deficiency. Some studies have found that a lack of iron in the body may be associated with restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome is when you feel a strong urge to move your legs while resting.

Heart palpitations

Because your body is unable to transport oxygen properly, your heart works harder to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. This can lead to irregular heartbeat or make your heartbeat abnormally fast. In the worst cases, it can even lead to heart failure.

Pale skin

Another noticeable symptom of iron deficiency is paleness. The lack of hemoglobin in red blood cells forces your skin to lose its red colour. You could have an iron deficiency if you notice paleness in your face, lower inner eyelids, or nails.

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