The connection between good health and appearance is quite clear. Everyone has had the experience of looking into the mirror when sick and seeing how different we often appear when ill. Your body is busy devoting all its resources to fighting off whatever is causing you to be sick and doesn’t have the resources to spare with upkeep in many areas. This and other reasons are why you are encouraged to eat a healthy, balanced diet. It will keep your body stocked on the nutrients it needs to take care of itself properly whether you’re sick or not. Your body begins to have difficulties without an appropriate amount of some nutrients. The problem is relatively common with iron deficiency being one of the most common. Women are statistically more likely to suffer from an iron deficiency, but many of the symptoms are universal and something most of us should remain aware of for our health.

General Signs
Fatigue is the single most common symptom of most forms of deficiency. The same is true with iron deficiency. It is general enough that it can be difficult to pin it down as anything out of the ordinary without other symptoms. After all, we all have times when we just barely miss out on the right amount of sleep to feel rested. The deficiency will cause you to be more prone to headaches and dizzy spells. These are all relatively mild and often dismissed. A more dramatic, but not overly severe symptom is that your hands and feet will feel colder to the touch than the rest of your body as your circulation suffers from the low iron levels. Symptoms like these will continue as long as the deficiency continues and gradually escalate to more severe issues if the deficiency itself continues to get worse.

Check the Mirror
Your skin actually gets pale in response to an iron deficiency. Most of us, even fair-skinned people, have a healthy color to our complexion when our diets are varied and rich enough to maintain good iron levels. This color gradually fades as iron deficiency goes on until everyone looks pale. Fair-skinned people, in particular, will be recognizably an unhealthy pale as opposed to their normal skin tone. Compounding this is the fact that lower iron can lead to light hair loss as your body starts to cannibalize what it can for nutrients to keep your body functioning properly. You probably have a clear idea of the potential impact this can have on your appearance, but there is another symptom to note as well. Nails become more and more brittle over the course of an iron deficiency. This can lead to fractures that cause pain in addition to other issues.

Other Symptoms
Many of the remaining symptoms are among the more severe and come about as the result of an extended iron deficiency. Periods often get noticeable worse when an iron deficiency is particularly bad and bleeding can occur as well. One of the most dangerous signs for everyone is chest pain. Iron deficiency can actually cause heart arrhythmia and other issues if it goes untreated. This, in turn, can cause further heart problems that mount as time goes by. Iron deficiency begins as an easily dismissed problem, but at its worst it becomes a clear and life-threatening condition. This makes consulting a doctor when you believe you’re demonstrating any of these signs a must to ensure your continued health.

Fortunately, iron deficiency is relatively easy to counter with appropriate dietary changes or medical intervention. It takes time for the body to return to proper health, but even the worst symptoms will eventually fade. The best way of dealing with the problem is prevention. With this in mind, you might want to review your diet to ensure you’re getting enough iron-rich foods like meats, beans, and lentils. This will help ensure you remain healthy.

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