Iron is one of the most important nutrients that the body needs to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron deficiency can be recognized by certain signs, but what are the early signs of iron deficiency? Iron deficiency?
When the body does not have enough iron, red blood cell levels drop because iron is needed to make hemoglobin, an important protein that carries oxygen throughout the body.
And if the body does not have enough hemoglobin, then the tissues and muscles will not receive enough oxygen, and they will not be able to perform their functions normally, which leads to anemia. What are the first signs of iron deficiency?
The first signs of iron deficiency
Early detection of the problem helps in treating it before harmful effects occur in the body. Iron deficiency can be detected through a set of signs, the most important of which are:
Feeling tired for no reason
This is one of the early signs of iron deficiency in the body, as the body needs iron to produce hemoglobin, and in the absence of hemoglobin in the body, energy levels decrease due to the lack of oxygen reaching different parts. from the body. the body.
Also, the heart will work harder to move more oxygen-rich blood to the body, adding to the feeling of fatigue.
It is a symptom of iron deficiency anemia because iron deficiency means low hemoglobin levels, so the heart works harder to carry oxygen, which affects the heart rate.
In advanced cases, this can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
Pale skin is one of the most important early signs of iron deficiency, as iron helps blood circulation with its strong red color, so the skin becomes glowing.
With a lack of iron in the body, the redness of the blood decreases, the skin loses its healthy pink color, and the skin becomes pale.
shortness of breath
When hemoglobin decreases in the body due to a lack of iron, oxygen levels drop, which means that the muscles are not getting enough oxygen to perform normal activities, such as walking.
With any simple effort, the feeling of fatigue will increase and the breathing rate will increase. Because the body is trying to get more oxygen, and shortness of breath increases with increased exertion.
Headache and dizziness
Lack of oxygen to the brain due to iron deficiency can cause blood vessels in the brain to swell, causing pressure and headaches.
Therefore, a doctor should be consulted if headaches, dizziness, and an inability to concentrate persist.
Dry skin, damaged skin and hair
Dryness of the skin and hair is one of the early signs of iron deficiency in the body, as lack of oxygen tends to be the most important functions of the body, and hair and skin are neglected.
With the hair and skin deprived of oxygen, the skin dries out and the hair becomes damaged, brittle, and can fall out over time.
Swelling and pain in the tongue and mouth
An area around the mouth and tongue can be examined to check the levels of iron in the body, as swelling and pain in the tongue and inflammation of the area around the mouth are indications of a low level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Iron deficiency can also cause dry mouth and inflammation around the mouth, as well as sores around the mouth.
restless leg syndrome
It is a syndrome that causes an intense desire to move the legs to feel comfortable, and it increases during the night period and thus affects sleep.
Restless legs syndrome is associated with iron deficiency anemia, and the lower the iron levels, the more severe the symptoms.
Change the shape of the nails
Iron deficiency in the body can affect the strength and health of the nails, as they become brittle and begin to grow outwards in the shape of a spoon, and become more prone to breakage.
However, this sign may not be noticed at the onset of infection, as it is considered an advanced sign.
Because of the lack of blood circulation that transports oxygen to the different parts of the body in good quantities, coldness can be felt in the extremities, whether they are in the hands or feet.
This explains the feeling of constant coldness in some people, and in this case, a doctor should be consulted to find out the cause of the problem and its treatment.
One of the first signs of iron deficiency is the return of the disease because the lack of iron in the blood affects the health of the immune system so it cannot perform infection-fighting functions normally.
Thus, the chances of contracting bacterial and viral infections that the immune system cannot fight and eliminate increases.
Causes of iron deficiency in the body
After identifying the early signs of iron deficiency, there are some reasons that lead to iron deficiency in the body, including:
Malnutrition: Lack of interest in eating iron-rich foods.
Inflammatory bowel disease: affects the body’s absorption of iron.
Bleeding: after internal bleeding or heavy menstruation.