Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

When the body lacks iron, this is called iron deficiency, which can lead to a decrease in the levels of red blood cells. Therefore it is vital to know the symptoms of iron deficiency.

Iron is essential to produce haemoglobin in red blood cells, which helps carry oxygen in the body. Low levels of iron lead to fewer blood cells, and your body won’t get enough oxygen.

If you want to protect yourself from iron deficiency, it’s important to remain attentive to these signs and symptoms of iron deficiency.

More Tired

You will feel very tired, due to the lack of iron in your body, leading to less oxygen reaching the tissues and muscles.

Not only this, but your heart starts working harder to move around blood that is rich in oxygen, which makes you more tired.

You might feel:

  • Weak
  • Cranky
  • Concentration Difficulties
  • Less Productive

Shortness of Breath

When there’s not enough oxygen in your body, the muscles will be too weak to complete daily activities like walking. Your breathing rate automatically increases, because your body is trying to breathe in more oxygen.

Increased Heart Rate

This symptom is called heart palpitations and means that your heartbeat increases.

We mentioned before that your heart needs to work harder to move around oxygen, and that leads to irregular heartbeats.

It is important to know that in extreme cases, increased heart rate might lead to heart enlargement or failure.

Tongue and Mouth Swelling

Open your mouth and look inside. Is your tongue swollen or pale? This could be one of the symptoms of iron deficiency, and it might cause dryness of the mouth or cracked lips and ulcers around your mouth.

Changes in Fingernails

The sign is not very common, but it might happen as a result of iron deficiency.

You might find your fingernails weaker, more brittle and cracked.


Changing facial skin colour is a common sign of iron deficiency.

It happens because the haemoglobin that makes the skin look red is less than normal which causes the skin to be pale.

Paleness might happen in the face only, but it can spread to other parts of your body too.

Headaches and Dizziness

The lack of iron means the less your body carries oxygen around your body. When the brain receives less oxygen, the blood vessels swell up causing pressure, headache and dizziness.

Other Symptoms

You might notice these signs and symptoms as well:

  • Dry hair and skin
  • Craving strange things like ice or chalk
  • Anxiety
  • Cold hands and feet.

It is essential to consult a doctor or a specialist if you are dealing with one or more of these symptoms. Find one on now!