15 Reasons It Might Be An Iron Deficiency

7. Swollen tongue

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As iron deficiency progresses the symptoms often become more evident. In some situations the tongue will actually begin to swell. This may make talking, eating and swallowing difficult.

8. Chronic Headaches

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Headaches are a common symptom of just about any form of deficiency, and iron deficiency is no different. When an individual develops anemia the nervous system is affected by the reduced red blood cell count, and this will often cause pain to develop in different areas of the head. These headaches are typically chronic, meaning they will persist even with medication and will develop at least three times a week for an ongoing period of time.

9. Brittle Nails

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So many parts of the body depend on iron for their veracity and strength. The nails are among those, and when the body grows deficient in iron the finger and toe nails may be negatively affected. Often, an individual who has develop anemia will find their nails brittle and easily broken, even if they’ve previously had strong nails.

10. Irregular Heartbeat

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Whenever the heartbeat is affected it is important to immediately consult your physician. As iron deficiency develops the heartbeat may grow irregular and often times will speed up. The low red blood cell count requires the heart to work harder to push blood throughout the body.

11. Intestinal Bleeding

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In extreme situations an iron deficiency can cause intestinal bleeding to develop. This often occurs if an iron deficiency has gone an extremely long period of time without medical attention. Intestinal bleeding may be noticed by the presence of blood in the stool following a bowel movement.

12. Heavy menstrual cycles

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Heavy menstrual cycles are both a sign and potential cause of anemia. When the menstrual cycle persists or is exceptionally heavy, it is possible for the body to loose too much blood and iron, and this may cause anemia to develop. It is common for many of these additional symptoms to develop in association with heavy menstrual bleeding, especially the headaches, fatigue and muscle soreness.

13. Frequent infections

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When the body is low on red blood cells the healing process is interrupted. Therefore, when a cut or scrape develops on the skin it might not heal as it should and an infection may develop.

14. Dry and cracking skin

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Just as the nails will grow brittle and the skin will grow pale, the skin may also become dry and will commonly even crack due to the lack of iron in the body. This is especially common surrounding the mouth.

15. Enlarged Spleen

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Iron deficiency anemia will cause the spleen to become inflamed. This often causes pain and swelling to develop in the upper left abdominal area. You may experience this as extreme feelings of fullness or gas, despite having not eaten recently. It is important to differentiate pain in the upper left abdomen from chest pain. Chest pain should always be addressed by a physician immediately.

Treating Iron Deficiency Anemia

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If you are experiencing any of these symptoms is it essential that you contact a physician right away to seek treatment. Often, making changes in your diet will relieve the symptoms of anemia, though sometimes medication is also necessary. Eating foods that are rich in iron like red meat and leafy greens is a great place to start in trying to prevent iron deficiency anemia.

Source: www.nhlbi.nih.gov