Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Iron is one of the essential minerals that the body needs to form red blood cells. Its function is to transport oxygen throughout the body so that organs can work properly. When the red blood cells in the body decrease, the tissues and the muscles of the body will not get enough oxygen. As a result, organ function is disturbed and triggers anemia caused by iron deficiency.

Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency vary by person. This depends on the age, the severity of your anemia, and your current health condition. When the body is in poor condition, you can more easily experience iron deficiency, also susceptible to other diseases. Some of the most common iron deficiency symptoms include:


People who experience iron deficiency usually often feel lethargic, tired, and difficult to focus. Although this may also be due to tiredness, but this can also be a sign that your body does not have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin itself is a protein found in red blood cells, its function to help carry oxygen throughout the body.

If hemoglobin levels in the body are small, then the oxygen that will be distributed throughout the body will also decrease. As a result, the tissues and the muscles of the body become less energy. Instead, liver organs should work harder to move more oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. As a result, your body becomes even more tired.

Pale Face

The easiest way to know your iron deficiency is to look at the inner color of the lower eyelids. Normally, the inside of the lower eyelid will look fresh red. However, if the colors tend to be brighter or pale white, then you may experience iron deficiency.

The red color in your blood is affected by the content of hemoglobin in red blood cells. The more hemoglobin content, the more bright and the red the color of the blood. That is why, healthy people have fresh, red skin and are full of hemoglobin in the blood. Instead, iron deficiency makes your body look pale. Not only on the skin, this condition can also occur on the face, gum, inner lip, inner eyelids, even nails.

Headaches and Dizziness

Although there are many causes of headache, one of them can also be due to iron deficiency. These symptoms are not as common as other symptoms. However, headache due to iron deficiency is usually accompanied by dizziness and eye sight. Lower hemoglobin levels cause the brain to lack oxygen. As a result, the blood vessels in the brain so swell and suppress the head cavity causing a headache.

Heart Palpitations

When you experience iron deficiency, low hemoglobin levels make the heart work harder to carry oxygen throughout the body. As a result, your heart will beat irregularly and very quickly. In extreme cases, this condition can cause an enlarged heart to heart failure. However, this usually occurs in people who have iron deficiency for a long time.

Hair Loss

Hair loss when shampooing and combing is a natural thing to happen. But if this happens excessively, you might be iron deficient. Again, this has to do with the low supply of oxygen due to depletion of hemoglobin levels in the blood. In this case, it is the hair follicles that suffer from lack of oxygen. That is why, hair becomes easy to fall out, even difficult to grow until your body gets enough iron intake.

Swollen Tongue and Mouth

Low hemoglobin in the blood can make the tongue become pale. Low levels of myoglobin can cause the tongue to feel sore and swollen. Myoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that supports the strength of the body’s muscles, one of which is the tongue-forming muscle. In addition, iron deficiency can also cause dry mouth and wounds, especially in the corners of the mouth.

Shortness of Breath

Hemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. When hemoglobin is low in your body, oxygen levels will also be low. This means that your muscles will not get enough oxygen to do normal activities, such as walking.

If you are out of breath doing normal daily routines such as walking, climbing stairs or exercising, you most likely experience iron deficiency.

Restless Legs

In fact, about 25 percent of people with restless leg syndrome experience iron deficiency anemia. The lower the iron intake, the worse the symptoms of this restless leg syndrome.

Restless leg syndrome is a condition when you often unconsciously shake your legs, even when you are resting. The urge to keep shaking your legs can also cause a tingling sensation in your legs, calves and thighs.

Spoon-Shaped Fingernails

One symptom of iron deficiency can be seen easily from the appearance of the nail. If your nails tend to be brittle and spoon-shaped, you might experience iron deficiency. Spoon-shaped nails are called koilonychia. This condition usually begins with the condition of the nail that is brittle and easily cracked. When the body does not get iron intake, slowly the middle part of the nail will press down and the edges lift up, forming like a spoon.

However, this usually only occurs in severe iron deficiency anemia. If you experience one or more of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately to confirm the diagnosis.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia worldwide. Some people have obvious symptoms, while others don’t experience it at all. This depends on the severity of anemia. If you think you have iron deficiency symptoms, immediately visit your doctor because self-diagnosis is not recommended.

But most iron deficiencies can be treated easily, usually through an iron-rich diet or iron supplements, of course if the doctor recommends it.

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