No matter the reason behind an iron deficiency, having low amounts of iron in the body can really slow you down.
Signs That You May Need Iron
Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to remember that it can be challenging to diagnose an iron deficiency. This is because the common symptoms can be caused by many different conditions. Talk to your doctor about taking a simple blood test for confirmation.
These are common signs of an iron deficiency:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling cold
Who needs iron?
Pregnancy: Pregnant women often need more iron since they’re supporting nutritional needs for two.
Blood Loss: Menstruating women and frequent blood donors often need an iron supplement to help return iron to healthy levels.
Low Iron Diet: Vegetarians, vegans and people who are not eating enough iron-rich foods sometimes need to supplement their iron.
Poor Iron Absorption: An intestinal disorder, such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease can make it difficult for your body to absorb enough iron.
Young Children: Some children may need iron because of rapid growth.
Athletes: Athletes may need iron to replace what is lost through sweat. Without enough iron, the body can’t use oxygen properly to produce energy. This impairs any athlete’s ability to compete.
Iron-Deficiency Anemia: If you are diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia, a doctor may prescribe an iron supplement.
How Your Body Uses Iron
Your body uses iron to produce healthy red blood cells. Without enough iron, your red blood cells struggle to transport enough oxygen to all parts of your body.
Healthy red blood cells help support:
- Energy levels
- Muscle Strength