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10 Signs You Need More Iron in Your Diet

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Iron is an essential nutrient for your body’s day-to-day functionality. There are many symptoms that may occur to indicate a deficiency of Iron in your blood stream. People with certain illnesses or diets will have a more difficult time absorbing iron into the blood, which can eventually lead to Iron Deficiency Anemia. Here are 10 of the most noticeable signs that you should increase your intake of iron in order to prevent health problems.

10. You’re Feeling Tired

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Iron is the nutrient responsible for producing hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin moves oxygen around to different areas of your body, which is essential for having enough energy to get through the day. When you are iron deficient, you may feel exhausted and have a difficult time focusing. This is because your body is working overtime to make up for the iron deficiency.

9. Pale Skin

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Your red blood cells are red because of the hemoglobin. An iron deficiency also means there is not enough hemoglobin being produced to provide the redness. As a result, you lose the pinkish hue that you’re familiar with in regards to your skin tone. This paleness can also show up on the inside of your lips, your gums and the lower part of your eye-lids. Being paler than normal can potentially be attributed to an iron deficiency.

8. Heavy Period

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Menstruating women are at a higher risk of iron deficiency when experiencing heavy periods. This is a result of losing too much blood. You may only recover about half of this blood before the next period, which can allow you to lose even more blood. If your tampon needs to be changed more frequently than every two hours, you may be suffering from an iron deficiency. This being the case, it is a good idea to setup an appointment with your gynecologist to talk about the issue.

7. Out of Breath

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If you’re experiencing an iron deficiency, you may feel winded doing things that normally wouldn’t bother you. The hemoglobin should be transporting oxygen throughout your body. When you’re iron deficient, your body craves that oxygen, which can cause breathlessness. You may experience this lack of breath while doing your normal workout routine, or doing simple tasks such as walking up stairs.

6. Headaches and Sore Muscles

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All areas of your body need oxygen to perform optimally. Your body does prioritize where it sends the oxygen with the available hemoglobin. It will send oxygen to the brain before other areas of the body, which might lead to sore muscles. If you exercise while deficient in iron, your muscles aren’t able to fully recover between workouts because of the lack of oxygen. Even though oxygen is prioritized for brain functioning, your head will still not get as much as it should, which would cause an iron-deficient headache.

Steve is a fitness guru who is passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. Find Steve on LinkedIn!

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