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Weird Symptoms: Are You Getting Enough Iron?

By Sara Butler

Iron deficiency is a very common in the United States today. Women are at greater risk of developing this nutritional deficiency and it can totally zap your energy, leaving you to feel listless. If you’re lacking the right amount of iron in your system, you may experience some of these strange symptoms.

Why Iron is So Important

When you don’t have a sufficient amount of iron in your body to create hemoglobin, you are considered anemic. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen via red blood cells over your entire body. When you don’t have enough, then the red blood cell count drops in your blood and you’ll end up feeling fatigued and short of breath more often than not.

Weird Symptom No. 1: Dirt Looks Appetizing

If you’ve ever looked at dirt and thought that it looked good enough to eat, then you may be lacking enough iron in your body. People with iron deficiency will often get a hankering for items not meant to be food such as dirt, cornstarch, clay, cardboard, paint chips, or cleaning supplies. This condition, called pica, is difficult to catch since many people don’t want to admit that the cardboard box they got from Amazon is starting to look pretty tasty.

Weird Symptoms No. 2: Cracked Lips

Cracked lips can be caused by a lot of things, such as dry winters or licking your lips too much. They can also be caused by iron deficiency. A particular type of cracked lips is named angular cheilitis is often experienced by those with low iron levels. It is characterized by cracks at the corners of the mouth, making it tough to smile, eat, or even talk.

Weird Symptom No. 3: Tongue Swelling

A swollen and tender tongue can also be a sign of iron deficiency. If your tongue is swollen, then it will appear smooth without its normal bumps. This can cause problems talking, chewing, or swallowing.

Weird Symptom No. 4: Craving Ice

Craving ice is another form of pica called pagophagia. This is a very common symptom of a severe iron deficiency. It’s thought that chewing ice increases alertness in people who are sluggish and fatigued due to lack of iron. Try not to worry too much if you like to munch on the ice at the bottom of your cup. People with this problem want ice every day, often going through several pounds of ice.

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

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