Iron deficiency anaemia is the most prevalent condition that occurs when you have decreased levels of haemoglobin in your red blood cells. Haemoglobin, a protein in RBCs, is responsible for carrying oxygen to your tissues. Due to iron deficiency anaemia, you may feel tired or short of breath.
In women of childbearing age, loss of iron in the blood due to heavy menstruation and pregnancy- can cause iron-deficiency anaemia. An insufficient or poor diet or any intestinal disease that interferes with the absorption of iron can also lead to iron deficiency in the body.
What are some signs to notice in your body indicating iron deficiency?
- Getting tired easily.
Feeling tired is the most profound sign of iron deficiency. When your body doesn’t have sufficient haemoglobin, your tissues and muscles get less oxygen, depriving them of energy. Additionally, the heart has to toil more to get the oxygen-rich blood in motion, which can make you feel fatigued. Apart from this, being iron deficient can make you feel low on energy, leave you feeling cranky, low on concentration, and affect your productivity too.
Pale skin on the inside of the lower eyelid is also a prevalent sign of iron deficiency. Haemoglobin gives blood its red colour, so when the body is deficient in iron the blood gets less red. This causes the skin to get pale in people dealing with iron deficiency. This paleness can appear either all over the body, or just be limited to just one part like gums, or face.
To check if you have iron deficiency, pull your lower eyelid down. If it is a vibrant red in colour, that means that you have sufficient levels of iron. But if it is pale, then you have an iron deficiency.
- Shortness of breath.
Haemoglobin helps the red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. So when haemoglobin level is low in the body, the tissues and the muscles are deprived of oxygen during normal activities like walking. Resulting in an increased rate of breathing as your body tries to get more oxygen.
So, if you find yourself getting breathless during daily, easy tasks like climbing up the stairs, or walking- iron deficiency anaemia is to be blamed.
- Headaches and Dizziness.
Headache or dizziness can also be a symptom of iron deficiency. If your haemoglobin level is low in red blood cells, that means an adequate amount of oxygen is not reaching the brain. This can further swell the brain vessels up in the brain, and cause pressure and headaches.
- Heart palpitations.
If your body is deficient in iron, the heat has to work extra hard to transport oxygen around the body. This can cause your heart to beat abnormally fast, or an irregular heartbeat. This symptom though is less common, but if you have suffered iron deficiency in a long time, you might experience it.
Over to you.
Iron deficiency is very common among women. To overcome, have more iron-rich foods like jaggery, ragi, beetroot, pomegranate, and apricots. Having a healthy lifestyle is the best way to treat iron deficiency, exercise each day, de-stress, have enough fluids, and sleep on time. Also, increase your intake of fermented foods as they have vitamin-B12, which can help in the absorption of iron.