Iron is an essential mineral that plays a big role in your overall health and well-being. Without the daily recommended dosage of iron, the body can begin to malfunction. According to the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention as part of the Henry Ford Health System, the primary role of iron is to carry oxygen in the bloodstream to each cell in the body. When the body is not getting enough iron, a person may begin to exhibit these nine signs of iron deficiency:
1. Frequent Infections
When your body is not getting enough iron, this can make you more susceptible to a variety of infections. The red blood cells transport oxygen to the spleen and lymph nodes, where infections can be fought off. When you have an iron deficiency, white blood cells are not being produced in abundance. Those cells developed do not have adequate oxygen and are weak. The lack of white blood cells will make a person susceptible to infections.
2. Extreme Exhaustion and Fatigue
One of the signs of iron deficiency is a constant state of fatigue. In this case, bloodstream is no longer carrying the appropriate amount of oxygen to cells, and as a result, energy levels suffer. When you have a lack of iron in the blood, the result is the inability to focus, feeling weak, and walking around sluggish all day. Rather than dump cups of caffeine into your system to get a jolt, see a physician and have your iron levels checked.
3. Shortness of Breath
Regardless of how deep you take a breath, if your oxygen levels are lower than normal due to iron deficiency, then you will constantly feel like you are out of air. The feeling of shortness of breath will occur when doing normal things like walking, getting out of bed, or carrying in groceries from the car. Speak with your physician about a potential iron deficiency if you have shortness of breath during your normal daily routine.