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10 Telltale Signs That You’re Not Getting Enough Iron

Jaclyn Hughes

In order to maintain a healthy body, we as human require a certain amount of minerals and nutrients to ensure that all of our working parts are functioning at peak levels.

Potassium, for example, helps your body to regulate blood pressure by offsetting the effects of sodium. Magnesium alone is involved in 300 chemical reactions in your body and provides you with energy that helps keep cells healthy and able to communicate with one another. It also helps prevent insulin resistance and migraine headaches. There is zinc, which is critical in keeping your immune system strong. It helps you fight infection, heal wounds and even keeps your sense of taste and smell on point. We have calcium, which like milk commercials taught us is good for strong and healthy bones, but calcium is also important for regulating blood pressure. These are only a few of vital minerals that our bodies need to remain healthy, and among those, I haven’t even gotten to the star of this article.

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. The culprit for this lack of iron is usually a poor diet or certain intestinal diseases that affect how the body absorbs iron. Anemia is the medical term for a lack of iron.

There are no two ways about, iron is an essential mineral. But what makes iron so important to our bodies’? According to Paul Thomas, EdD, RD, a scientific consultant to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, “The major reason we need it is that it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.”

Iron is a key component of hemoglobin, which is the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs and transports it throughout the body. Hemoglobin makes up two-thirds of the bodies’ iron, and when your body is lacking in iron, your body is unable to make enough of these healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

When your body is lacking healthy red blood cells, it is unable to get enough oxygen – it’s that simple. “If you’re not getting sufficient oxygen in the body, you’re going to become fatigued,” Thomas says. This exhaustion can affect everything from your brain function to your immune system’s ability to ward of infection, and that’s only the start.

So in order to better help you, especially considering how prominent iron deficiency is, we have compiled a list of 10 of the most common and tell-tale signs that you might be suffering from a lack of iron, because like every health concern, early detection is the key to treatment and combating the problem.

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