(RxWiki News) Worried you might have iron deficiency anemia? Here are the signs to look out for.
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that causes your blood to have too few healthy red blood cells. Because red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body, the condition can cause everything from tiredness to heart problems.
As its name suggests, iron deficiency anemia is the result of a lack of iron in the body. That means that, in many cases, iron deficiency anemia is preventable. If you choose iron-rich foods on a regular basis, you can lower your risk of iron deficiency anemia. Iron-rich foods include leafy greens, eggs, meat, beans and seafood.
If you suspect that you have iron deficiency anemia, you need to see a health care provider as soon as possible. In the meantime, these are the signs of iron deficiency anemia to watch for:
- Extreme tiredness
- Cold hands and feet
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or rapid heartbeat
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Brittle nails
- Cravings for unusual things that aren't food, such as dirt or ice
- Reduced appetite (particularly in infants and young children)
This is not a complete list of possible signs of iron deficiency anemia, and it's important to reach out to your doctor even if you only have a faint suspicion that something may be wrong.
Also keep in mind that, while over-the-counter iron supplements can certainly be helpful as you try to get more iron in your daily diet, you can go too far. That's why you always need to speak with your health care provider before starting any new medication, supplement or diet.