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9 Strange Signs of Iron Deficiency

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.

common symptoms of anemia

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.

6)    Arrhythmia

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.

7)    Depression

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.

8)    Anxiety

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.

9)    Pica

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.

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Low Red Blood Cells? Find Out If You Have Anemia

The most common reason of anemia is iron deficiency. Iron is a vital micro element in human body that is responsible for the formation of hemoglobin. It is a protein that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. About one third of iron is stored as hemosiderin and ferritin in spleen, bone marrow and the liver.


When someone develops anemia, the person is said to be anemic and is usually more tired, cold and looks pale. There can be different reasons what causes anemia but each of them causes a drop in the circulation of red blood cells. It can happen because any of the following reasons –

  • the body fails to produce enough hemoglobin
  • the body is producing the protein but cannot work properly
  • there is low red blood cells count in the body
  • the body breaks down the RBC is too fast

How common is anemia?

More than 2 billion people in the world, which is approximately 30% of the total population, suffers from anemia. It is more common in countries that have fewer resources. More than 3 million Americans are estimated to suffer from this disorder.

Who can be affected?

The truth is, anyone can suffer from iron deficiency. But iron deficiency anemia can affect the following people the most –

  • Women – because monthly menstruation often cause excessive blood loss. The condition can worsen if she has a condition like fibroids  Children – kids below 2 years of age need iron for their growth so any less intake can cause the condition
  • People over 65 – they are like to suffer from iron poor diet and for them it can even lead to a chronic condition
  • People living on blood thinners such as aspirin can have the deficiency of iron

Signs and symptoms

Most common symptoms of iron anemia deficiency includes but not limited to –

  • headache
  • dizziness or constant weakness
  • dry skin, paleness or bruises on skin
  • restless leg syndrome
  • fast heartbeat

Decreased absorption of food

This is one of the main reasons for iron deficiency. For people whose diet do not include heme iron is one of the major reasons for iron deficiency anemia. Heme iron can be absorbed more effectively than the non-heme iron which are available in plant based foods. Although Vitamin C and B12, zinc and folate can help in facilitating non heme absorption, you have to be careful about your diet chart which actually interfere with the iron absorption rate.

Proton pump inhibitors, antacids, calcium supplements have been studied to inhibit iron absorption in the body.

How is it diagnosed and detected?

Normally, there are tests that check the hemoglobin amount in the body. Hematocrit provides the percentage measure of the RBC in the blood which indicates the amount of iron reserve in the body. It also helps to understand the iron binding capacity. There are some tests which is used to calculate transferrin iron saturation which is a measure of the iron in the transit in the serum.

Sometimes a complete blood count, zinc protoporphyrin, reticulocyte hemoglobin content are done to test and diagnose the body condition.


Treating iron anemia deficiency can have different approaches depending on the condition and the threat of anemia. There can be an increased demand if you are in a growing spurt or are pregnant. If you have any blood loss condition such as heavy periods or elaborate surgeries, the interference with iron absorption will be different. For some, the approaches can be as simple as change in the diet while for others there can be a need to take iron supplements.

If you suspect you have iron deficit, take the help of a medical professional. Iron catch is one of the top iron supplements which are made from various vitamins and minerals and fish oligosaccharides that can help to promote normal iron absorption. With the first iron free iron deficiency solution, you can get improved iron absorption rate in the body. People reported fast and effective results within a month of consumption. Although there is no stated side effects like any other typical iron supplement, you should speak to your health care provider before taking it regularly.