10 Signs You Have an Iron Deficiency
About 9 percent of women suffer from an iron deficiency, according to the most recent stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—but that number's even higher for physically active women, say experts. How can you tell if your levels are a little low? Be on the lookout for these 10 warning signs.
“The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen,” says Blaire Morriss, a nurse practitioner at the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health. When you don't have enough healthy blood cells, you start to feel exhausted.
Neurotransmitter synthesis may be altered in people with an iron deficiency, leading to lower-than-normal functionality, says Morriss.
Related: 7 Brain Tumor Symptoms You Need To Know About
Another byproduct of that altered neurotransmitter synthesis? Apathy toward anything and everything—friends, family, work, even the latest episode of The Bachelor, says Morriss.
Watch a hot doc explain what you should do for an iron deficiency:
This can happen whether you’re at the gym or simply walking to your car—but why? “Without enough iron in the blood, the body becomes starved for oxygen," says Kimberly Mueller, R.D., owner of Fuel Factor Nutrition Coaching.
Unusually Pale Skin
Look like a Twilight extra lately? That's not a good sign. “A washed-out appearance can be caused by reduced blood flow and decreased number of red blood cells,” says Mueller.
Trouble Doing Your Normal Workout
Struggling to do the same number of reps you whizzed through a few weeks ago—even though you haven't been slacking off on your workouts? Low iron levels can cause your endurance to suffer, according to a recent Cornell study.
Related: 9 Great Sources of Iron for Active Women
If you actually do drag yourself to the gym, you'll probably feel the burn for longer than normal afterward: Not having enough iron deprives your muscles of their ability to recover properly, leading to achiness.
Even the cutest mani/pedi can’t hide thin, frail fingernails and toenails. Another way your tips can tip you off to a possible iron deficiency: a concave or spoon-shaped depression in the nails.
Video: Iron Deficiency Anemia: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment
As did fellow blogger eljackson, who proposed to his wife hilvees four years ago to the day, according to this post
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