Top 10 Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Blood is the connective tissue of the body which has two main components, blood cells, and plasma. Iron Deficiency can be defined as the gradual decrease in the healthy red blood cells which carries oxygen to the different body tissues. Hemoglobin is a pigment which constitutes iron in its structure and is part of RBCs. If there is not present inadequate amount of iron in the body, then the system will fail to produce enough of this pigment which may lead the person short of breath or tired. The article talks about the symptoms of iron deficiency.

Causes of Iron Deficiency

When your body is losing large iron content or you are not taking enough amount of iron in the diet, in both circumstances there will be a deficiency of iron in the body. As a result the production of red blood cells will decrease hence there will be improper oxygen supply to the various tissues. Lacking the accurate amount of hemoglobin, leads to the eventual development of iron deficiency. The various reasons that can lead to the condition are given below:

  • Excessive blood loss.
  • A lack of iron in your daily meals.
  • The inability of the body cells to absorb iron.
  • Pregnancy.

Risk Factors of Iron Deficiency

It’s quite common to be deficient in iron, as most of us have eating habits which somehow lacks in fulfilling the amount of iron required for our daily chores. Pertaining to the same, it cannot be ignored that below mentioned people are highly prone to become iron deficient:

1. Women:

In the periodical cycle of menstruation, women lose a large amount of blood. Hence these can be more lying on the front to have this deficiency.

2. Infants and children:

Babies born premature or with low weight and unable to have breastfeed are likely to develop Iron Deficiency. Moreover, the children who don’t take balanced and varied diet can be at risk of Iron Deficiency.

3. Vegetarians:

Vegetarians who don’t consume sufficient iron are more prone to be anemic.

4. Frequent blood donors:

The people who donate blood at regular basis can lessen the iron store in the body and may face iron deficiency.


10 Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

People who generally suffer from iron deficiency can identify the same with the help of following symptoms:

1. Heart problems:

Irregular or rapid heartbeat is the primary symptom of Iron Deficiency as heart pumps more of blood for compensating the lack of oxygen in the blood. Such irregularity can cause heart failure or enlargement of the heart.

2. Problems during pregnancy:

The deficiency of iron in the pregnant women is linked with the low birth weight of babies and premature deliveries. The condition can be prevented if the women are taking iron rich supplements during pregnancy.

3. Unusual Tiredness:

Almost half of the anemic patients show the symptom of unusual tiredness. This can be due to two reasons; one the heart needs to work harder for supplying more blood to compensate the deficiency of the oxygen level in blood and other body needs iron to make protein pigment namely hemoglobin which ensures sufficient supply of oxygen to body cells. As tiredness is normal in a busy life, hence is not singly helpful to diagnose Iron Deficiency in the patient.

4. Paleness:

Hemoglobin is responsible for the red color of blood. Its deficiency in the body results in the paleness of the skin.

5. Shortness of Breath:

The shortness of breath is a very common symptom noticed in the anemic patients. It can be because the body needs more amount of oxygen-rich blood during performing various activities such as walking, running, exercising and the body works more to fulfill the requirements hence the person may suffer from shortness of breath.

6. Iron deficiency may cause headaches:

There is generally less supply of oxygen to the brain cells in anemic patients, causing more pressure and swelling in the cells which lead to a headache and dizziness.

7. Dry and Damaged Hair and Skin:

The loss of hair is among the various common symptoms of the iron deficiency. Moreover, it is the reasons which cause dryness of the skin and make the hair weak and damaged.

8. Swelling and Soreness of the Tongue and Mouth:

Myoglobin is the protein present in red blood cells that support muscles, and anemic patients generally have less count of RBCs and sometimes by just looking inside the mouth can indicate to be anemic. The various signs include the swollen tongue, inflammation or paleness in it.

9. Iron deficiency has been linked to restless leg syndrome:

Although the symptom is not known for the clear reason, most of the anemic patients suffer from this syndrome. It is the urge of a person to move the legs at rest and usually worst at the night as the patient struggles to get proper sleep.

10. Brittle or Spoon-Shaped Fingernails:

Koilonychia is the condition that is seen in the anemic patients which cause chipping and cracking of nails easy and common.

11. Other Potential Signs:

The other symptoms that can be linked to the low level of iron in the body are the following:

  • Strange cravings.
  • Feeling anxious.
  • Cold feet and hands.
  • More frequent allergies and infections.

Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency

The two important and widely used methods to diagnose iron deficiency are given below:

  • Complete Blood count (CBC) test.
  • Serum iron test.

Treatments of Iron Deficiency

Numerous and wide variety of treatments are available for curing the iron deficiency. All the prescriptions are aimed at increasing the level of iron in the body which in turn promotes the formation of RBCs. Generally, the iron-rich supplements are given to the patients to promote hemoglobin production in the body. Blood transfusions sometimes become necessary for treating the deficiency.

Medications of Iron Deficiency

Along with the various medications change in lifestyle or diet patterns works efficiently to cure the symptoms of the iron deficiency Iron Deficiency. The various medications that serve for increasing the iron level in the body are listed below:

  • Folic acid supplements.
  • Antibiotics.
  • B-12 shots.
  • Iron-rich supplements.
  • Vitamin C supplements.

Home Remedies for Iron Deficiency

The minor deficiency of iron in the body can be treated naturally by just a few homemade remedies that either serves for absorption of the iron or increasing its production. There are various iron rich foods.


One good habit of having balanced diet can prevent you from thousands of ailments, so without waiting for that time, replace your diet schedule with a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in all the essential amino acids required for maintaining proper functioning of the body.

Sagar Papneja

For me, health is about sustainable living and consuming environmentally conscious food; I am a vegan.

Related Featured Articles

Next Post

What Causes Hair Loss?

Previous Post

Chest Pain- Right Side and Left Side