Iron Deficiency and Difficulty Keeping Warm
Feeling chilly? Are you cold even when you have an extra sweater on or an extra blanket on the bed? It may not be just a lack of insulation in your home, or a poor heating system in your house. You may have an iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.
One sign of iron deficiency is difficulty keeping warm. Perhaps you have cold hands and feet. Other symptoms are feeling tired and weak, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness or light-headedness and irritability. Mild iron deficiency doesn’t always cause complications. However, left untreated, iron deficiency can become severe and lead to other health issues, including heart problems. Studies show women are more likely to be deficient in iron than men.
We usually get the iron we need from our diet. Beans, green leafy vegetables, eggs, red meat, breads, pastas to name a few all add iron to our systems. But sometimes it’s not our diet that causes the deficiency. It could be a sign of something else needing attention. That’s reason enough to seek out your doctor’s help.
If you think you are iron deficient, express your concerns to your doctor, or better yet, make an appointment. You should never self-diagnose yourself and begin adding iron supplements to your diet. Too much iron in your blood can be dangerous to your health causing an iron overload disease. And there could be other underlying problems and/or symptoms.
The following is taken from the Mayo clinic article on this subject:
Iron deficiency anemia symptoms may include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Frequent infections
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
- Brittle nails
- Fast heartbeat
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
- Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia
- An uncomfortable tingling or crawling feeling in your legs (restless legs syndrome)
The best course of action is to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Express your concern about your iron levels to find out if you are indeed iron-deficient. There may be particular causes for your iron deficiency that your doctor needs to treat.
If you would like to learn more about iron deficiency, there’s great info at the Mayo Clinic.