Iron deficiency is incredibly common world wide, affecting approximately 12% of the global population. The numbers are highest in women 18-45yrs, and people living in lower-income countries. In North America 10% of women of child-bearing age are believed to be iron deficient. An astounding 25% of pregnant women are thought to be iron deficient.
Obstetric and gynaecologic causes are most common in pre-menopausal women. In addition to blood loss, poor iron intake from restrictive diets can also exacerbate or even lead to iron deficiency. Oral iron supplements can be difficult to absorb, and constipating to many people.
Iron deficiency can cause several different symptoms that vary depending on how low your iron level is and how depleted your iron stores are.
The most common initial symptoms of iron deficiency are:
Irritability and mood swings
Iron deficiency also causes:
- Pale skin
- Feeling cold when others don’t
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Ice cravings
- Restless legs
- Exercise intolerance
Gurdev Parmar ND