Iron Deficiency: Five Surprising Things It Can Cause

What low iron can causeA lack of iron can lead to something called anemia, which is a condition that can only be confirmed with a blood test from your doctor. Why should you care if your iron levels are getting low? Because it can have far-reaching repercussions on your physical and mental health. Here are just some of the side-effects from having low iron:

Low energy: Iron is necessary for your body to transport oxygen through the blood. And when you don’t have enough oxygen making its way through your body, you feel fatigued.

Strange cravings: We aren’t talking about a desire to eat ice cream or pizza. A condition called pica is when you want to eat non-food items like ice, dirt, glue or hair. One of the causes of pica? An iron deficiency.

Restless leg syndrome: This condition hits people at night and can result in an irresistible urge to move their legs and feet. As a result, it can have a pretty big impact on quality of sleep.

Unexplained anxiety: Because low iron leads to low oxygen, your sympathetic nervous system gets revved up and your heart will start to race—two things that give you a fight-or-flight feeling. As a result, your anxiety levels can skyrocket without any real reason.

Paleness: Your too-light skin might not be due to excessive sunscreen use—it can also be caused by low iron since the a decreased number of red blood cells causes pallor.

Worried you might have an iron deficiency? Here’s how to tell if you are low in your iron levels and how to bring them back up to where they should be.

 

 

Photo credit: pimtheda

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