Low iron--anemia-- is a condition that affects the red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout the body from the lungs. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells; its job is to carry the oxygen in the blood. The body requires iron to make hemoglobin, and without it develops anemia. Family Doctor.org explains that there are many types of anemia, but low iron is the most common.
The body loses iron when it loses blood. If the body does not have sufficient iron stored to make up for blood loss, it will develop iron-deficiency anemia. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute explains that women who have a heavy menstrual cycles or uterine fibroids may develop low iron levels. Blood loss from childbirth also causes low iron levels. Bleeding internally is another risk factor for an iron deficiency. Some circumstances of bleeding internally are: a bleeding ulcer, urinary tract infections and regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
Supply the body with extra iron for when it requires additional amounts. Following a proper diet with a balance of food groups may avoid anemic conditions. Medic8 explains that low-fat diets, high sugar and fiber diets can all lead to low iron in the blood. Vegetarians often develop symptoms of low-iron because they do not eat enough iron-enriched foods. Foods that contain iron are: eggs, fish, meat and poultry. Family Doctor.org explains that the body absorbs most iron in meat.
Cold Limbs and Fatigue
Cold hands and feet can be a sign of low iron. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute explains that cold limbs and fatigue occur because the body lacks red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Red blood cells make less hemoglobin when the body lacks iron. Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital explains that this becomes a problem when the red blood cells travel because they do not have enough power to get through the entire body, which can cause poor circulation.
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that malaise is a symptom of low iron. Malaise is an overall feeling of discomfort or illness. Malaise can cause depression because usual activities become more difficult to accomplish and the fatigue associated with it can be overwhelming. Depression related to malaise can become severe. Other symptoms of malaise include chills, headaches fevers and nausea. Malaise can often make it difficult to focus and concentrate.