While it can prove serious if left untreated, iron deficiency is actually a common medical issue, especially among people in the United States. Iron deficiency is a type of anemia, a condition where the blood has a reduced number of red blood cells. When an individual has iron deficiency anemia, the body lacks enough iron to properly construct red blood cells, resulting eventually in anemia.
This is a common health condition that can be managed through a series of medical interventions as well as with a proper diet. Understanding the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia will help you recognize the condition and seek treatment early on
An individual with iron deficiency anemia will begin experience extreme bouts of sleepiness and inability to stay awake. The fatigue will continue despite long periods of rest and will not be relieved following a full night of sleep.
Typically, when an iron deficiency develops it begins to impact the health and vivacity of the skin. A diminishing red blood cell count means that air isn’t being circulated through the body as efficiently as it should be. Many people with an iron deficiency will develop very pale skin, as a result.
Feelings of dizziness may develop that are otherwise unprompted, so cannot be associated with having just stood up or turned around. The dizziness comes from the reduced red blood cell count and the lack of iron in the body.
A person who has iron deficiency anemia may begin to feel their body grow weak. This will happen through extreme mental fatigue and the need to sit more frequently, but also through increased muscle pain and muscle fatigue. Soreness in the arms, legs and abdomen are especially common.
When your body requires a nutrient, it will tell you. When one is experiencing dehydration, for example, extreme thirst is one of the first symptoms they will experience. Iron deficiency anemia leaves the body with strong cravings for anything with iron, and sometimes these cravings are odd. Cravings for nonedible items like dirt, clay or metal are signs of iron deficiency.
Restless Legs Syndrome can develop in association with iron deficiency anemia, but more common is the sensation of RLS which is a strong and chronic feeling of tingling in the legs. Unlike restless legs syndrome, if the tingling is associated with an iron deficiency then it will subside when the deficiency is met.