Iron Deficiency Anemia Signs And Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

The body needs a sufficient source of iron to produce hemoglobin, the blood component responsible for transporting oxygen to the different parts of the body. When there is iron deficiency, the body suffers from a condition called anemia.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional disorder in the world. And this is not surprising considering the important role of iron in the body. Anemia may be easy to correct with proper supplementation, but the thing that causes the rise in iron deficiency cases is actually lack of awareness.

Not everyone knows what anemia is, and many are very oblivious to the signs and symptoms that indicate the deficiency of iron in the body. Furthermore, mild cases easily go unnoticed because their symptoms are not that alarming.

Signs And Symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are the signs and symptoms that you may be suffering from iron deficiency anemia:

  • Weakness
  • Extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • Poor appetite, especially in kids
  • Brittle nails
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Paleness of skin
  • Headache and lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of tongue
  • Bizarre cravings for ice, starch or even dirt

Causes And Risk Factors

Iron deficiency anemia can be caused by various conditions apart from the lack of iron in the diet. Blood loss, such as in the case of menstruation, could also lead to anemia. Intestinal condition like celiac disease that disables the body’s ability to absorb iron is also another cause. For mothers, they may also suffer from iron deficiency anemia when they lack supplementation during pregnancy.

The prevalence of this type of anemia is also mainly due to the fact that many groups of people are at risk of developing it. Women, children, frequent blood donors and vegetarians are very likely to suffer from a deficiency in iron. Women are at risk because of menstruation and pregnancy. Children could suffer from anemia when they are born prematurely and if they don’t have access to a balanced diet. Frequent blood donors experience a depletion in their blood. Meanwhile, vegetarians have the greater risk because they are prone to not eating iron-rich foods.


Treatment for iron deficiency anemia varies based on the severity of the condition. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said that for the more common and milder cases, iron supplementation would be enough. For severe cases, there’s a need for medical procedures, surgery and dietary changes. Blood transfusion may also be required for anemia due to severe blood loss.

Blood Iron helps in the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Pixabay