The Healthy Hack

When a person has low count of Red blood cells (RBC), anemia happens. American Society of Hematology said that there are several factors that are instrumental in having low level of RBC’s such as certain chronic disease, viral infections and age.

The most common type of anemia is the iron deficiency anemia which is caused by the lack of the iron mineral found in the blood. Iron is needed to produce protein called hemoglobin which helps distributing oxygen to the body tissues to function well.

Iron deficiency can’t be noticed immediately unless you have your routine blood test. Here are 12 indicators of iron deficiency.

Feeling Tired

It’s the most common sign of having iron deficiency. Lack of iron in the blood means less oxygen for the body tissues which makes you feel exhausted.

If you felt tired and then accompanied with irritability, weakness or lack of focus, then iron deficiency is, somewhat, to blame. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia aka having “tired blood”.

Bizarre Cravings

Craving, leading to eating, for inedible objects is a symptom of iron deficiency. They have an urge to munch paper, clay or dirt. Fortunately, most people opt for ice.

Incessant Leg Twitch

About 15% of people with iron deficiency has restless leg syndrome, John Hopkins Medicine said. Symptoms worsens with lower level of iron.

Becoming Breathless Easily

According to Dr. Berliner, you’ll feel out of air, even if you breathe deeply, when your oxygen level is low. When you do some things and it makes you gasp for air, which shouldn’t, you can blame it to iron deficiency.


People often interchange the words “pale” and “sickly”. Having a rosy complexion is because of the hemoglobin in your blood. And because you are deficient, it makes you pale.

If you have a lighter skin, it can be identified easier. You can also observe the paleness in your gums, inside of lips or eyelids which should be in reddish hue. It’s most likely you’re iron deficient.

Going Bald

When iron deficiency becomes worse, it may result to hair loss specifically if it’s iron deficiency anemia. Don’t worry about the few hairs you see in the outlet. The scalp sheds off about 100 hairs at most in a day.

Heart Palpitation

An exhausted heart can result to heart irregularities like murmurs, heart failure or enlargement. But don’t freak out! It majorly happens when you have iron deficiency anemia over time, according to Texas Heart Institute Journal.

But if you know that you have existing heart problems, it’s best to check your iron levels and prevent from getting it worse.

Feeling Tense

Iron deficiency makes you feel more anxious. Not enough oxygen triggers the sympathetic nervous system and be in high gear. It raises your pulse and makes you antsy even though you should be at ease.

Throbbing Head

According to the National Headache Foundation, the priority of an iron-deficient body is to distribute the oxygen especially in the brain but in reality, it receives less; causing the arteries to dilate and causes headache.

Odd-looking Tongue

Iron-deficient persons tend to have a smooth, sore, or swelling-looking tongue because of the lack of myoglobin, a protein in RBC’s that sustains muscle health (tongue is a muscle).

Delicate-looking Nails

One proof of having iron deficiency is a curve, shaped like a spoon, visible on the nails. It also has a thin feel and weak look at it that even mani/pedi can’t hide.


The American Thyroid Association said that this is a thyroid disease that 60% of people have and doesn’t know they have it. “Being iron-deficient slows down metabolism”, said Academy of Hypothyroidism. If you are feeling drained, gaining weight, or has low body temperature, consult your doctor.