What are the symptoms of iron deficiency?

Iron is an essential nutrient for your body, which you get from your food. It is needed for you mental and physical health and to keep your energy levels up.1,2 Sometimes your body’s demands for iron can outstrip supply, and this can lead to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency causes many symptoms including fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath.3,4

You can also download the “What are the symptoms of iron deficiency” article as a PDF.

If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important that you talk to your doctor.

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References

  1. WHO Preventing and controlling iron deficiency anaemia through primary health care – A guide for health administrators and programme managers 2005
  2. Haas JD, Brownlie IV T. Iron Deficiency and Reduced Work Capacity: A Critical Review of the Research to Determine a Causal Relationship. J Nutr. 2001;131(2):676S-690S.
  3. Clark SF Iron deficiency anemia.Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):128-41. doi:
  4. Patterson AJ, Brown WJ, Powers JR, Roberts DCK Iron deficiency, general health and fatigue: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health Quality of Life Research 2000 9: 491±497 1177/0884533608314536.
  5. Favrat B, Balck K, Breymann C, Hedenus M, Keller T, et al. Evaluation of a Single Dose of Ferric Carboxymaltose in Fatigued, Iron-Deficient Women – PREFER a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. PLoS ONE 2014 9(4): e94217. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094217 
  6. Patterson AJ, Brown WJ, Powers JR, Roberts DCK Iron deficiency, general health and fatigue: Results from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health Quality of Life Research 2000 9: 491±497
  7. Scully C. ABC of oral health: Mouth ulcers and other causes of orofacial soreness and pain. BMJ.2000;321(7254):162-165. doi:10.1136/bmj.321.7254.162.
  8. Dhur A, Galan P, Hercberg S Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology Volume 94, Issue 1, 1989, Pages 11–19 DOI: 10.1016/0300-9629(89)90776-7
  9. McDermid J, Lönnerdal B. Iron. Adv Nutr. 2012;(1):532-533. doi:10.3945/an.112.002261
  10. Lacey EP. Broadening the perspective of pica: literature review. Public Health Rep. 1990;105(1):29-35.
  11. Sun ER, Chen CA, Ho G, Earley CJ, Allen RP. Iron and The Restless Legs Syndrome. Sleep. 1998;21(4):381-387.
  12. Trost LB, Bergfeld WF, Calogeras E. The diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency and its potential relationship to hair loss. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54(5):824-44.
  13. Huch R, Schaefer R Iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia 2006 Georg Thieme Verlag
  14. Osaki T, Ueta E, Arisawa K, Kitamura Y, Matsugi N. The pathophysiology of glossal pain in patients with iron deficiency and anemia. Am J Med Sci. 1999;318(5):324-9.
  15. Stoltzfus R, Edward-Raj A. Clinical pallor is useful to detect severe anemia in populations where anemia is prevalent and severe. J Nutr. 1999;129(May):1675-1681.
  16. Cashman MW Sloan SB Nutrition and nail disease Clinics in Dermatology (2010) 28, 420–425
  17. Miller JL Iron deficiency anemia: a common and curable disease Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2013 Jul 1;3(7). pii: a011866. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a011866.
  18. World Health Organization. Iron deficiency anaemia. Assessment, prevention and control: A guide for programme managers.; 2001:1-114. Last updated: 25. November, 2014

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