Iron deficiency is a common issue. In fact, it is the leading vitamin deficiency worldwide. There are several reasons for this, from poor nutrition to congenital problems, but the signs of iron deficiency are the same regardless of the cause.
We are familiar with the more common symptoms such as fatigue and pale skin, but more subtle signs are often missed. Some of these are secondary signs caused by primary symptoms like those caused by fatigue, while others are directly caused by anemia.
If you’re worried about your iron level, here are the top 9 strange signs of iron deficiency.
1) Smooth Tongue
A healthy tongue is covered in little bumps called papillae which are visible. Someone with an iron deficiency will experience swelling. This makes the tongue appear much smoother and glossier.
2) “Spoon” nails
Most people know to look for blue or purple nail beds as a sign of iron deficiency, but there is another way our nails tell us we need more iron. Koilonychia or “spoon nails” appear as though the nail had been scooped out. This happens because the nails lose their volume and structure under conditions like anemia.
3) Restless Leg Syndrome
This is a well-known condition that is not always associated with iron deficiency. RLS is as it sounds – you have the “need” to move your legs and feel crawling sensations along them. Despite the variety of possible causes, low iron is indeed one of them.
4) Hair Loss
Have you been losing more hair than usual? This could be a sign of iron deficiency. The lack of iron in your blood causes it to prioritize your brain and core organs. With the blood supply cut off from the root, the hair falls out.
5) Problems Concentrating
Fatigue doesn’t just cause physical weakness but also cognitive – the ability to concentrate for sustained periods of time and problem solve. Once again, the problem is blood oxygen levels. Without enough iron to produce hemoglobin, the oxygen level lowers considerably, leading to only prioritizing parts of the body deemed necessary for survival.
While the body might want to prioritize the organ systems necessary for survival, low iron levels still lead to low blood oxygen. In severe cases, this can cause the heart to beat abnormally (arrhythmia). The heart’s job to circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body becomes more challenging, and the organ becomes strained.
This may seem odd, but mental and physical health are inexorably linked. The weakness and inability to function normally lead to conditions like depression. While battling the constant physical strain of anemia, it’s common for your quality of life to decrease. The physical and circumstantial causes of depression feed off each other in a vicious cycle.
Between the heart’s struggle to circulate oxygenated blood and the mental strain, it’s easy for anxiety to develop. Functioning on the same feedback loop as depression, anemia-related anxiety can spiral out of control fast.
It’s impossible to discuss strange signs of iron deficiency without mentioning Pica. Pica is the insatiable craving for non-food items such as dirt and ice. While it seems unreal, it is a severe condition that can arise from an iron deficiency. Cravings for things like soil are caused by the body’s need for iron.
Avoid these Strange Signs of Iron Deficiency with Iron Catch
Anemia can be severe if left untreated, but too much iron also has drawbacks. This is why Iron Catch works differently than other iron supplements. Instead of depositing iron through the pill, Iron Catch enhances the body’s ability to absorb iron from your diet.