Did you know that the side effects of low iron levels cause a multitude of health problems? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) lack of iron affects approximately 10 million people in the United States alone. Remarkably, this statistic includes five million people who are affected by iron deficiency anemia. So many of us are dealing with low iron on a regular basis in this country and around the world.
What are the Negative Effects of Low Iron?
Low Iron levels can be dangerous as they can make you more at risk for illness and infection. This is due to the fact that a lack of iron can affect your immune system directly. Low iron can also increase your risk of developing complications that affect the heart or lungs. In extreme cases, it can result in an abnormally fast heartbeat (tachycardia) or heart failure. We’ll go into more detail about the side effects and health problems associated with anemia later on in this article.
Low iron can result from a multitude of reasons ranging from pregnancy to age to kidney issues. Iron deficiency can also cause health issues. Sometimes, iron levels can be addressed through your diet and iron supplements (check with your doctor, however, before starting or stopping taking iron supplements). So what are the effects of low iron when it comes to your health? Here, we’ll answer that question and more.
Let’s get into the symptoms of having low iron. Whether you are dealing with low iron temporarily, you may experience the side effects of low iron. Iron deficiency can be a mild affliction—so mild, in fact, that you may not even notice that you have it, as mentioned above.
Now you may be wondering: What are the health effects of low iron? Note that mild iron deficiency anemia usually doesn't cause complications, but it can progress and cause some low iron side symptoms including:
- Experiencing extreme fatigue. Severe low iron can make you super tired to the point that you can't complete everyday tasks
- Frequent illness in general
- Feeling weak and low energy
- Shortness of breath
- Extreme pallor
- Restless leg syndrome
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Having cold hands and feet
- Feeling inflammation or soreness of the tongue
- Hair loss
The effects of low iron can be numerous and range from mild to serious symptoms.
3 Serious Health Issues Caused By Low Iron
If you have low iron and are not treating it, it can potentially lead to various health problems. These issues include:
- Heart problems. In extreme cases, low iron can result in an abnormally fast heartbeat or even heart failure.
- Pregnancy complications. Pregnant women with folate deficiency related to low iron can be even more likely to have complications—and having a premature birth is among them. Luckily, this condition is preventable in pregnant women who receive adequate iron supplementation as part of their prenatal care.
- Stunted growth and development problems for the baby/child. In infants and children, a severe iron deficiency can lead to anemia as well as delayed development and growth. In addition, iron deficiency anemia can be associated with increased susceptibility to things like infections.
Obviously, those who are affected by low iron want to do what they can to steer clear of any of these above health problems caused by low iron—whether they are pregnant or not.
How to Prevent the Side Effects of Low Iron Levels
Low iron, or deficiency, may be mild to moderate but can lead to anemia when the lack of iron in the body results in a reduction in the number of red blood cells. It can be a mild to moderate deficiency. However, low iron is something you want to address immediately. If you suspect that you may have low iron levels, be sure to talk to your doctor According to the American Society of Hematology (ASH), most people don’t realize they have mild anemia or low iron until they have a routine blood test. So it’s definitely something you want to be aware of. Getting blood tests and not skipping your annual physical is a good way to keep track of this.
If you find that you are experiencing the effects of iron deficiency, you may consider making changes to your diet and adding an iron supplement. You’ll want to keep your doctor in the loop as you begin taking iron supplements and before tapering off of them. It is important that you use caution so as to not overload the body with iron. Too much iron in your system can actually lead to liver damage or other health complications. Your doctor can help you monitor your symptoms and your recovery.When choosing an iron supplement, quality is important. MegaFood Blood Builder is made of real food like beets & organic oranges, plus folic acid & B12 for healthy red blood cell production, and vitamin C to support iron absorption. It has been shown in an 8-week clinical trial to increase iron levels without common gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea or constipation. It is gentle enough to take anytime of day, even on an empty stomach.