Since low iron levels can cause several ailments in the body, minerals and nutrients play a very vital role in maintaining it.
Especially iron is a very crucial mineral that mainly helps the transfer of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and ensures proper growth and functioning of the body.
Hence, iron deficiency can disturb bodily functions, causing anemia.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 42% of children less than 5 years of age and 40% of pregnant women worldwide are anaemic.
Benefits of iron
This mineral is used to generate haemoglobin – a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to other body parts.
Apart from this, it also helps produce myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles.
It also helps improve the immune system and therefore keeps severe illness at bay.
However, its deficiency can lead to easy bruising and may make it more difficult for wounds to heal. So, it is important to consume an iron-rich diet.
Here are some signs of iron deficiency –
Extreme fatigue and weakness
You may feel more tired and exhausted because of an insufficient amount of iron in your body.
This is because it is responsible for making haemoglobin that carries oxygen.
Fatigue, on the other hand, is one of the key symptoms of iron deficiency. Hence, you should get yourself checked.
Shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing
If the iron levels are low, it means that both haemoglobin and oxygen levels are low.
Due to this, your body will work harder to produce more oxygen, which in turn increases your breathing rate, causing shortness of breath.
Increased heart rate
Sometimes, due to iron deficiency, the heart has to pump hard to produce oxygen.
This may cause irregular heartbeat or lead to an increase in the heart rate.
Dizziness and headache
When only a limited amount of oxygen reaches the brain problems like headaches and dizziness can occur.
It is a very common issue in women.
It is the red blood cells that give red colour to the blood. And since the production of haemoglobin suffers due to iron deficiency – your skin loses its pinkish colour and warmth.
The face, gums, fingernails and the insides of the eyelid may become pale. One must visit a doctor in such occurrences.
Swollen, sore tongue and mouth
If you have an inflamed, swollen tongue or mouth, chances are that you lack sufficient iron in your body.
Other symptoms may include a dry mouth, a burning sensation, sore red cracks on the sides of your mouth and mouth ulcers.