Iron is an extremely important mineral found in your bloodstream. Its most important function is to aid in the production of hemoglobin, an essential protein found in your red blood cells.
Low iron levels can lead to low hemoglobin levels which can even lead to iron deficiency anemia. A condition that increases your fatigue levels and makes you chronically tired and weak.
Thus, it is increasingly important that you keep your iron levels in check by consuming an iron-rich diet and getting your iron levels tested regularly.
In this article, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about the dangers of iron deficiencies including what causes them, their symptoms, and most importantly which doctor to visit for a checkup.
Approximately 30% of the world’s population suffers from iron deficiency. Why? Well, because an iron deficiency has plenty of triggers, especially for women, who are more at risk to this type of deficiency due to pregnancy.
To list them all down, iron deficiency can be caused by:
- An iron-deficient diet, can only occur if you don’t consume meat, beans, fish, eggs and green vegetables.
- Extremely fast physical growth either in your infancy, adolescence, or teenage years.
- Pregnancy because it requires more iron.
- Surgical procedures target your stomach or intestines as they’re responsible for the absorption of nutrients.
Iron deficiencies are actually tricky as most people don’t experience any serious symptoms in the early stages. However, as the deficiency worsens, you may experience some serious symptoms like:
- Extreme tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Pale Skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Sore tongue
- Irregular heartbeat
- Restless leg syndrome
Which Doctor to Consult for Iron Deficiency?
Plenty of general physicians claim that they can fix any health related problem you come to them with. And we’re not saying that’s not true but the wise decision would be to head over to a specialist as they’ll fix your problems considerably faster.
For iron deficiencies those specialists are hematologists. So, if you experience any of the symptoms we mentioned in the list above continuously for a considerable period of time, make sure you go see a hematologist to get yourself tested and treated.
If you’re looking for some additional signs that’ll provide you with a clear cut verdict on whether or not you are iron deficient, then make sure you check out the list down below. It contains 5 more signs that can confirm your deficiency.
This is a rather tricky symptom of an iron deficiency as it’s not always necessary that it’s caused by a deficiency in your iron stores. As fatigue can be caused by a lack of sleep, excessive stress and even depression.
That said, it’s also one of the first signs of even a mild iron deficiency. Therefore, if you’ve noticed a change in your levels of exhaustion just recently, it would be wise to get your iron levels tested.
Your thyroid is responsible for regulating heat in your body. Usually an iron deficiency can disrupt your thyroid’s energy as thyroid hormones need iron to function properly.
This results in you feeling unnaturally colder than everyone around you, with your hands and feet feeling the brunt of it. In cases like these getting a hold of an iron specialist or getting your iron levels tested would be the best course of action.
We’ve already established how iron is incredibly important for your red blood cells. These red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen throughout your body.
Thus, it would follow that an iron deficiency will slow down the creation of red blood cells and thus slow down the shuttle of oxygen throughout your body.
That can cause you to feel like you’re short of breath all the time. If this does happen, don’t shy away from getting your iron levels tested.
No human being can be happy go lucky all the time. That’s a natural part of being human. However, studies have proven that an iron deficiency can cause you to feel even more irritable or anxious without any noticeable triggers.
The study in question noted that adolescents who were suffering from an iron deficiency were dealing with greater irritability than their healthier peers.
Hair fall is a normal part of life for both men and women. In fact, on average both women and men lose about 50 to 100 hair per day. However, If the number of hair you lose on a daily basis is going over this number by a huge margin then it could be because of an iron deficiency.
In cases like these, it’s extremely important that you consult a hematologist as early as possible as waiting too long could lead to you contracting a hairfall condition known as alopecia which could lead to you going bald.
While we still advise going to a proper medical lab to get your iron tests done, with recent advancements in technology, getting your iron tested at home is now a possibility. Blood tests for iron deficiency are the most common form of iron deficiency tests.
But, these days not every company is reliable when it comes to processing your test results correctly. Which is why we’ve come up with a tried and tested company you can contact to complete your iron test at home.
LetsGetChecked offers you a fully at-home finger prick test that determines if your blood is iron deficient. But what is iron called on a blood test? Well, the scientific name for iron is ferritin.
However, you don’t need to worry yourself with those details as all you need to do is mail the test to them the same day you complete it using the prepaid shipping label provided. You should get the results of your test in 2 to 5 days through their secure app.
All in all, an iron deficiency isn’t too much of a serious condition if you don’t let it lie for too long as mild iron deficiencies don’t even come with any serious symptoms.
On top of that, most iron deficiencies are temporary, caused by an imbalance in your diet or some stressful event that you eventually get over.
However, it’s still advisable to visit a hematologist at least once a month to check your iron levels or learn how to treat an iron deficiency that you might have developed.