Research shows that up to 1 in 2 women in Singapore may suffer from iron deficiency. If you constantly feel tired or experience heavy hair loss, chances are, you may be iron deficient. But did you also know that being female and having prolonged heavy periods puts you at risk of the condition?
The consequences may be quite unpleasant - when your body can’t make enough haemoglobin due to the lack of iron, you may start to experience symptoms like pale skin or unusual cravings. Read on to find out 7 surprising signs of iron deficiency.
1. Unusual Fatigue
Feeling prolonged fatigue is a common indicator of iron deficiency, occurring in more than half of sufferers. Iron plays a vital role in making haemoglobin, a substance present in all red blood cells, which functions to carry oxygen throughout your body. Without enough iron, the lack of haemoglobin would prevent oxygen from reaching your body, making you feel constantly tired.
2. Heavy Hair Loss
As mentioned above, when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen, your hair follicles go into a resting stage. You may start to experience heavy hair loss, and your hair won’t grow back until your iron levels go up. Check your shower drain, or combs and brushes for signs of heavy hair loss. For more serious cases, you may even be able to see bald spots on your head.
3. Unusual Cravings (Pica)
Pica is a term used to describe non-nutritional cravings such as dirt, ice or paper. This may be a little strange, but it’s a very real symptom of iron deficiency! Submitting to these cravings may increase your risk of consuming harmful substances that come with these products, and also disturb your body’s absorption of iron.
4. Brittle Nails
Some cases iron deficiency can cause nails to chip or crack easily. However, this is not as a common symptom and mainly occurs in severe cases. In advanced stages of deficiency, the middle part of your nail may start to dip, with the edges raised, which results in a spoon-shaped appearance.
5. Pale Skin
Hemoglobin gives your blood cells it’s reddish colour. If your iron levels are low, your blood cells would be less red, making your skin look paler. People suffering from iron deficiency can have pale skin all over their bodies, but may also experience the symptom in specific locations, such as their gums, eyelids, face or even their nails.
6. Restless Leg Syndrome
This syndrome occurs when you’re resting, but feel a strong need to move your legs. The condition can also cause you to experience strange, uncomfortable or even itchy sensations in your legs. To add, restless leg syndrome may be more common or worse at night when you’re going to bed, which might cause you to have difficulty sleeping.
With that said, you shouldn’t wait until you experience these symptoms before checking your iron levels. The easiest way to be sure that your iron levels are healthy is to go for a quick and simple test that doesn’t take you more than 5-10 minutes.
The good news is that you can easily book an iron deficiency test or fatigue test from The Iron Suites through our in-app Marketplace. Don’t wait till it’s too late – head over to Marketplace and make your appointment today!