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Are You Iron Deficient?

By Sara Butler

Iron is a mineral your body needs to function properly. Many of the important functions your body needs, such as carrying oxygenated blood throughout the body, is something iron plays a direct role in. That's why when you're deficient in it, then it can make you feel pretty lousy.

Here's what you need to know about iron and how you can tell if you may be deficient in it so you can investigate further.

Why Iron Deficiency Happens

Iron deficiency has several common causes. These include:

  • Having inflammatory bowel disease
  • Blood loss
  • Inadequate diet
  • Pregnancy

If you're deficient in iron, then it can result in symptoms that can have a huge impact on your quality of life, such as tiredness, problems concentrating, and shortness of breath.

The Signs of Iron Deficiency

There are several signs that can clue you in to whether or not you're iron deficient. These include:

  • Tiredness - Everyone feels tired at some point, but experiencing unusual tiredness and fatigue is a clue you should pay more attention to. Many people who are iron deficient are low in energy and often feel weak and cranky.
  • Paleness - Some people are naturally pale, but if you take a closer look at places such as the inside of the lower eyelid, it can give you a big clue as to whether or not you're pale because you're iron deficient. The inner eyelids will be less red in someone without enough iron. You may also notice paleness in the gums, nails, inside of the lips, and face.
  • Shortness of breath - Because iron plays a big role in helping your red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your system, low iron levels will result in an increased respiratory rate as your body works hard to get enough oxygen.
  • Headaches - If you are low in iron, then you may also experience headaches and dizziness. It's thought that this occurs because of the low levels of hemoglobin in the blood that supplies oxygen to the brain. This can cause the blood vessels in the brain to swell and cause headaches and dizziness too.
  • Dry hair and skin - Since iron deficiency means that hemoglobin in the blood is low, the cells that are responsible for hair growth may be deprived of oxygen too. This can result in hair and skin that are dry and damaged. You may notice hair loss too.

If you suspect you're iron deficient, then talk to a medical professional.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dallas, Tex.

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