Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S. with women being at a higher risk than men. Consuming too little iron over an extended period of time can cause a shortage of this important mineral in the body. Foods like meat, eggs, and some leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of iron. Since iron is required during times of rapid growth, expectant mothers and growing children may need more iron rich foods in their diet.
Iron is needed by the body to make hemoglobin, the protein required to assist red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. So a deficiency can make the difference between being in control of your life and feeling downright miserable. Without sufficient iron, everything in the body suffers.
In extreme cases of iron deficiency, a more severe condition known as anemia can develop which can have its own set of health consequences, but here is a look at ten of the most common signs of an iron deficiency.
The most well-known symptom of an iron deficiency is perhaps general fatigue but may also be the hardest to detect. A low iron count results in less oxygen reaching the tissues and deprives them of the power they need. If routine fatigue is noticed being coupled with a feeling of weakness, irritability, a lack of focus and sluggishness, then the change may be due to an iron deficiency.
General fatigue means that the body is having a hard time transporting oxygen to the cells which is affecting energy levels but most times, fatigue is dismissed as being of part of life. However, iron deficiency related fatigue does not go away with adequate rest.