Iron Deficiency and Fatigue

If you are a woman and feeling tired all of the time, you may have iron deficiency anemia. Although this does happen to men, it happens to women more often. The causes are heavy periods or blood loss, pregnancy, the body being somehow unable to absorb iron properly and not getting enough iron in your diet.

  1. Symptoms

    • Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include constant fatigue, a pale complexion, brittle fingernails and toenails, a sore or inflamed tongue, poor appetite and cravings for items like dirt or plastic.

    Diagnosis

    • The best way to find out if you have iron deficiency anemia is to get a complete blood count (CBC) blood test and have your doctor interpret it. The doctor will look at your ferratin and hematocrit levels.

    Iron and Blood

    • Blood cells need iron in order to manufacture hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is important because it helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.

    Foods Rich in Iron

    • Foods rich in iron include beef, shellfish, liver, beans, vitamin enriched breakfast cereals, asparagus and baked potato skins. Pregnant women need to stay away from liver.

    Warning

    • More is not better with iron supplements. Taking too much iron can make you sick, usually with nausea and diarrhea.

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Resources

  • Photo Credit Might need more iron. Image from StockXChng.

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