Iron is a highly important component in the human body that helps it function properly. Iron deficiency can sometimes be fatal. The following are some of the signs of iron deficiency anemia:
1. Fatigue: Fatigue is one of the most common and easily identifiable signs of iron deficiency anemia. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the tissues. However, lack of hemoglobin, which is rich in iron, means that the body's ability to carry oxygen to the tissues is reduced, resulting in a state of extreme tiredness and fatigue. Signs of iron deficiency in children are lack of endurance during physical activity and a state of tiredness.
2. Shortness of breath or palpitation: If the process of transfer of oxygen to the tissues does not function properly, the heart has to work harder, resulting in shortness of breath and fatigue. The patient looks weak and experiences quick changes in heart rate or palpitation. Lack of endurance during exercise and increased palpitation are common signs of an iron deficiency.
3. Paleness: Paleness is one of the easily recognizable signs of iron deficiency anemia. A person who lacks the required number of red blood cells which carry oxygen to different parts of the body looks pale. More than normal blood loss during menstruation can lead to iron deficiency in women.
4. Pica or Pagophagia: Is a state in which the patient experiences extreme craving for the consumption of unusual products such as non-food items. Patients might develop a craving for ice, paint, cement, sand, or starch. Patients often experience a state of compulsive ice consumption -- one of the leading signs and symptoms of iron deficiency. A patient afflicted with Pagophagia craves iced drinks or ice.
5. Alopecia or hair loss: Alopecia is one of the most noticeable signs and symptoms of iron deficiency. Though other factors also contribute to alopecia, it is commonly associated with an iron and zinc deficiency. Excessive hair loss or baldness can indicate iron deficiency anemia. Adequate doses of iron will help control hair loss considerably.
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