ORLANDO, Fla. – Have you been feeling tired lately? What about dizziness, headaches, cold hands and feet? These are just some signs that you may be low on iron.
Not having enough iron could be disastrous to your health. If you are low on iron, the end result could be anemia.
Anemia is a common, often under-diagnosed condition that 50% of heart failure patients have.
With anemia, you have fewer blood cells to carry oxygen to vital organs in your body- like your heart which can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. It can put some people at a higher risk for developing heart problems such as heart murmurs or an enlarged heart.
Since iron is also necessary for the health of your hair, skin and nails. Be on the lookout for brittle nails or pale skin. Some other signs include: restless leg syndrome and a strange craving for things like clay, dirt or ice. As the body becomes more iron deficient the symptoms will intensify. If you do have any of these symptoms, do not take supplements on your own.
Erin Nichols, MD, MHS Cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine argued that “Patients think because these are over the counter that they’re safe, and more is better.”
But that’s not the case. Overloading on iron can be dangerous to your health because the excess can damage your liver. Instead, talk to your doctor to see what dosage is best for you.
A common misconception is that only women can be iron deficient. Experts at Mayo Clinic said even though women are at a greater risk, men who have a poorly balanced vegetarian diet, donate blood frequently, or have internal bleeding can also be iron deficient.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, producer; Angela Clooney, videographer and editor.