Iron is an important nutrient in the production of hemoglobin within the human body. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen and distribute it throughout the body. Unfortunately, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. However, iron deficiency is often not diagnosed or treated because its signs and symptoms are not fully understood.
Some people are at a higher risk for developing iron deficiency than others. Iron deficiency commonly leads to the development of iron anemia, the most common type of anemia worldwide. Iron deficiency anemia can affect both genders, even though women are more likely to suffer from this condition.
Iron deficiency is simply determined with a blood test that checks iron levels. Once iron deficiency is diagnosed, proper treatment with iron supplements and dietary changes is required. When left untreated, iron deficiency can have a great impact on daily life. The most common symptoms of iron deficiency include:
Symptom #1: Tiredness
Tiredness is the most common symptom of iron deficiency. Extreme tiredness is related to the fact that there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body - the tissues and organs don’t receive the necessary amount of oxygen they need, resulting in a lack of energy. Also, the heart needs to work harder to pump more blood to supply all the tissues and organs with the necessary amount of oxygenated blood, which of course contributes further to extreme tiredness and fatigue.
The lower the iron levels in the human body, the more extreme the tiredness will be. This significantly affects a person’s quality of life. For this reason, it is very important to diagnose and treat iron deficiency on time.