1. Brittle nails
Notice that your nails tend to break and chip regularly? It might not be that cheap nail polish, after all. Studies have found that nails need a sufficient amount of iron to remain strong and healthy, so a deficiency in the mineral will directly result in lackluster nails.
2. General fatigue
Similarly to headaches, low levels of hemoglobin mean less oxygen going to the brain. The consistent flow of oxygen helps to keep the body functional, so an interruption in this flow can often cause chronic tiredness.
If you are experiencing this, or any of the symptoms listed above, check with your doctor to make sure your iron levels are sufficient.
Consistent headaches that won’t go away? If paired with some of these symptoms, iron deficiency may be to blame. The problem comes back to the lack of hemoglobin in the blood, caused by low levels of iron.
Hemoglobin helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, so low hemoglobin means less oxygen in the brain, which can often result in painful headaches.
4. Cold hands and feet
This is a particularly important symptom in women, whose core body temperature is typically one to two degrees colder than men’s. But the big reason for these uncomfortable bouts of cold can actually be tied back to the thyroid.
Lack of iron can alter your thyroid hormone metabolism, which regulates body heat generation. If low iron levels are slowing down your metabolism, you’ll notice irregular heating affects your hands and feet most.
5. Tongue swelling
Patients with iron deficiency may develop an inflamed, sore, and swollen tongue. The tongue will appear pale and smooth due to low levels of hemoglobin (an iron-rich protein in red blood cells) and the swelling often causes problems with chewing, swallowing and speaking.
6. Tingling in the legs
The sensation of numbness or tingling, especially in the legs, leads us back to an insufficient amount of hemoglobin. Without iron, we have less hemoglobin, and with less hemoglobin, we have a less even distribution of oxygen throughout the body. This is often most noticeably felt through a tingling in the legs, like frequent pins and needles.