Iron deficiency refers to the inadequate amount of iron in the body. It is the most prevalent disorder in the world.
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen to all the cells in the body.
One of the most common causes of anemia is not consuming enough iron. But it can also be a consequence of inadequate absorption of consumed iron, pregnancy, or extreme blood loss through menstruation, internal bleeding due to ulcers and other conditions.
Severe anemia can be fatal and it should be arrested at the earliest signs of its onset.
People who are exposed to the risk of iron deficiency include children, pregnant women, and vegetarians. Its earliest manifestations include paleness, tiredness, low energy levels, decreased mental alertness, and reduced resistance to infection.
These symptoms are difficult to notice. It is one of the reasons why most people cannot address them promptly. This causes the condition to worsen.
Some indications of advance stage anemia include headaches, dizziness, irritability, and appetite loss. It can also trigger shortness of breath, rapid palpitation, chest pain, angina, and enlargement of the heart. Aside from these, severe iron deficiency can also cause tongue swelling and a tingling feeling in the legs.
Many people, most especially children who have advanced stage anemia develop cravings to eat non-food items like dirt and ice.
It can delay the physical and mental development of children.
Pregnant women who are severely deficient in iron are also at risk of delivering their babies prematurely or at low birth weights.
Word of Caution
Iron deficiency is a problem that needs action because it can negatively affect your energy levels and overall health. If you notice any of its earliest symptoms, you need to talk to a medical professional for proper evaluation and checkup.
Iron deficiency has plenty of serious negative consequences. You should not neglect or ignore it to avoid complications.
But you should avoid taking iron supplements without your doctor's recommendations. Excess iron in the system can also lead to liver damage and other health issues.