Low Iron Symptoms in Women
What are the low iron symptoms in women? As iron deficiency and anemia are common in women, it is important to know their indicators so that the problem can be addressed as early as possible.
Iron Deficiency Anemia is a condition wherein there is low level of iron in the blood causing decreased oxygen delivered to the tissues. Red blood cells need hemoglobin in order to transport the oxygen in our blood. Hemoglobin contains iron which is responsible for the red color of the blood as well as the ability of the blood to supply oxygen in our body. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common anemia worldwide and women are twice as more prone to anemia than men. This is the reason why most of the supplements given to women contain iron to prevent the low iron symptoms in women.
Symptoms of Low Iron in Women
Women with low iron in the blood experience:
• Shortness of breath especially during exercise
• Tachycardia and palpitations
• Atrophic glossitis (smooth, sore tongue)
• Koilonychia (spoon shaped fingernails)
• Cheilosis (cracks at the side of the lips)
• Pica (craving of non-edible substances such as paper, ice and clay) leading to food poisoning
• Weakness and fatigue
• Brittle hair and nails
• Cold sensitivity
• Weight loss
• Dizziness and headache
Causes of Low Iron in Women
The low iron symptoms in women are caused by different factors relating to the decreased iron in the blood.
• Lack of iron intake
Taking iron rich foods can improve the iron supply in our blood. Iron can be found in the foods such as
organ meats (liver)
green leafy vegetable
dried fruits (raisins)
Taking vitamin C rich foods can help in the absorption of iron. Do not take iron together with calcium because it can inhibit iron absorption. Iron supplements can also help enrich iron in the blood. It is best taken in an acidic environment thus should be given before meals or together with Vitamin C.
• Excessive bleeding and blood loss
Bleeding can contribute to the low iron symptoms in women and it should be reported right away.
Since a pregnant woman carries a baby in her womb, she needs more iron to supply not just her oxygen needs but the baby’s as well. So if there is low level of iron then it may lead to some pregnancy problems.
Breastfeeding can also contribute to the low iron supplementation in women since breastmilk contains iron also.
Treatment for Low Iron in Women
Women should take in 15 mg of iron per day, but for pregnant women they should increase their daily requirement up to 27 mg of iron per day.
The low iron symptoms in women can be managed by taking iron supplements such as
• sulfate and ferrous gluconate
• Dextran administered through intramuscular injection Z- track method to prevent skin staining
• Oral liquid iron to be taken with straw to prevent staining of the teeth
• vitamin C to increase iron absorption
• Oxygen therapy for shortness of breath
• Rest to reduce the oxygen demand of the body.
When low iron symptoms in women become evident, do not take them for granted and address the problem at hand before the condition gets worse.