Tired All of the Time? It Could Be an Iron Deficiency.

Published in Wellness Tag: Cheryl Huls, RN,CNP  

Author: Cheryl Huls, RN, CNP

You have trouble concentrating, but of course that could be because you're exhausted—all of the time. It's also possible you have an iron deficiency.

Exhaustion is the most common sign of iron deficiency. We're so busy juggling hectic lives that we've gotten used to that constant zombie-like state. Women are at greatest risk of developing an iron deficiency, which could lead to anemia, affecting your ability to filter oxygen through your body, so it's important to take any sort of exhaustion seriously.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have an iron deficiency:

  • Extreme fatigue or tiring out more easily
  • Crankiness
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Looking pale
  • Overall weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Soreness or inflammation in your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Unusual cravings for things like ice, dirt or starch
  • A poor appetite
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Losing your hair
  • An under active thyroid

Iron is used to produce hemoglobin in your body. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout your body. Without it, your body won't function correctly and can even lead to future health problems if left untreated.

If you think you have an iron deficiency, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will decide the best way to treat your iron deficiency. Typically patients will be given an iron supplement and asked to up iron intake through their diet. People can get too much iron so it's important to visit your doctor to determine the best way to get your iron levels—and energy levels—back on track.