7 Odd Signs You Might Be Iron Deficient

7 Odd Signs You Might Be Iron Deficient

Iron is one of the more important minerals humans need to sustain life. It carries oxygen to the brain and muscles making it essential for systemic mental and physical health.

It is a tricky mineral however because it has a low bio-availability. This means that iron does not permeate into the bloodstream in abundance nor does the body retain it for long periods of time. Therefore, iron’s absorption is minimal and it must be replenished via food and/or supplements.

Below are 7 odd signs you might be iron deficient. Always consult your doctor regarding any of these symptoms as well as self-dosing via supplementation. Iron supplements can interfere with various systemic processes and medication if not carefully administered.

Weird Tongue

Myoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that is also a component of hemoglobin. Iron deficiency has been linked to complaints of one’s tongue feeling as if it is inflamed, sore to the touch, lacking color and oddly smooth.

Hair Loss

If you think you’re going bald you may want to think again. When iron deficiency is at it’s peak which becomes a condition called anemia, hair loss may result. “It sends your body into survival mode, so your body channels oxygen to support vital functions as opposed to ones like keeping your hair intact,” explains Jacques Moritz, M.D., director of gynecology at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt in New York City.

I’m So Tired

It may not seem that odd but feeling tired all the time is rarely considered an iron deficiency. People will try to drink more caffeine or go to the gym to try and fight fatigue. It could be a sign of many health challenges however iron deficiency is a potential top cause that sometimes may elude a basic checkup.

Your body will often result in feeling fatigued due to low blood oxygen. Because iron is a major component in the hemoglobin process of transporting oxygen when you don’t have enough, those eyelids just may droop.

Stop Fidgeting!

If you have suddenly become a wiggly worm and not just when hopped on caffeine, you could be iron deficient. Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that about 15% of people suffering from restless leg syndrome are low in iron.

No Focus

Iron deficiency may be affecting your ability to focus on tasks. In an article by researchers in the graduate program at Pennsylvania State University, on how ‘Iron Deficiency Alters Brain Development and Functioning’ (Journal of Nutrition 2003) it was found that,

“Studies in adolescents who were iron deficient, but not anemic, revealed alterations in cognitive functioning that could be attributed to iron depletion but not anemia. When specific tests of attention are performed, iron-deficient anemic adolescents perform less well than iron-sufficient teens and also respond to iron therapy.”

Eat Some Dirt?

There can actually be a desire for people who are deficient in iron to want to eat dirt, clay and ice. It is a condition called pica and children are most susceptible. This can lead to eating lead laced paint chips and resulting in more serious health problems.

For adults, especially women who are more prone to iron deficiency due to their monthly cycle, craving ice cubes is a pretty good sign to get a blood test.

Brain Pain

The National Headache Foundation warns of how head pain can be due to decreased iron absorption. Because iron deficiency causes low levels of blood oxygen it can cause arteries in the brain to swell resulting in headaches.

If you exhibit any of these 7 odd signs you might be iron deficient, talk to your doctor. In the meantime, try some more iron rich foods such as clams, beans, spinach, cashews, liver, fortified cereal and tofu.