According to the most up to date statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 9% of women suffer from an iron deficiency. This number is actually higher for women who are more physically active. Here are 10 warning signs to tell if your levels are a little low.
“The body uses iron to make hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen” says Blaire Morriss, a nurse practitioner. She currently works at the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health. If you are feeling exhausted, it could mean you don’t have enough healthy blood cells.
2- Difficulty Focusing
People with a low iron may have an altered Neurotransmitter synthesis. This can make you incredibly unfocused doing day to day activities.
An Altered neurotransmitter synthesis can have another byproduct. You may have apathy towards everything in your life, from friends to family, even TV shows.
This can happen when you are working out at the gym or even just taking a simple walk-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.
5- Unusually Pale Skin
If you’re feeling a little more translucent than usual, that is not a good sign. “A washed-out appearance can be caused by reduced blood flow and decreased number of red blood cells,” Says Mueller.
6- Trouble Doing Your Normal Workout
You did these reps with ease a few weeks ago and now you’re struggling. But you haven’t slacking off with going to the gym. This could mean your Iron levels are low which in turn effects your endurance.
7- Crazy-Sore Muscles
After you actually made it to the gym, you may feel the burn longer than usual. With an iron deficiency, your muscles are not able to recover correctly which may cause achiness.
8- Brittle Nails
You can try to hide your frail and thin nails and toenails with a mani/pedi, but it probably won’t work. Another way you can tell you may have an iron deficiency is if you have any crescent shaped depressions in your nails.
9- Frequent Infections
Becoming ill especially with a respiratory disease can be because of lack of Iron.
10- Pink or Red Urine
Beeturia is what happens when you eat beets and excrete reddish urine. It is normal for 10 to 14 percent of normal people to have this. Morriss says people with low iron is caused by increased intestinal absorption of certain pigments.