What Is Iron Deficiency?

There are many common health problems nowadays. Iron deficiency is one of them which can occur at any age. Women and children are most vulnerable.

It is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies globally that affects more than 25% of people worldwide. Most concerning is that 47% of preschool children have iron deficiency.

Iron Deficiency

iron deficiency

As its name implies, it is a condition when our body is facing a lack of iron. Our body needs iron to produce hemoglobin. Without iron, our body does not create a sufficient amount of RBC (Red Blood Cells).

RBC helps to carry oxygen to our cells & tissues, which results in tiredness and shortness of breath while doing daily activities.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency?

symptoms of iron deficiency

Many people may or may not realize iron deficiency. Mild and moderate cases are mostly Asymptomatic.

So we should be aware of it. Fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, Dizziness, and regular weakness are common symptoms of iron deficiency.

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Other Common Symptoms:-

  • Cold hands and feet
  • Soreness of your tongue
  • Unusual cravings
  • Brittle nails
  • Poor appetite
  • Irregular heartbeat ( more serious iron deficiency )

What Are The Causes Of Iron Deficiency?

red blood cells

It occurs in any kind of blood loss or our body does not produce sufficient blood cells. Red Blood Cells in our blood contain iron. Here are some reasons for blood loss.

  • Lack of iron in daily diet.
  • Any kind of blood loss (RBC in blood contains iron).
  • Blood loss during pregnancy
  • Heavy menstruation bleeding.
  • Internal bleeding (ulcers, polyps, colon cancer, etc.)

Who Are At Risk Of Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency in women and children

Diet plays a key role to fulfill our nutrition but in developing countries women and children cant take proper food that why they are at higher risk. People who don’t consume leafy and green vegetables are also at more risk.

  • Women
    • Pregnant women needs twice as much iron as usual because fetus needs iron for growth.
  • Vegetarians
    • Vegetables have very less iron as compared to meat, fish and poltry. If we want to fulfill our daily needs, we have to consume greater amount of vegetables as compared to meat.
  • Infants and children
    • Low birth wieght infants are at greater risk because Iron is essiential for their growth and young children’s growth mostly dependent on milk and their is lack of iron in it.
  • Blood donors
    • People who often donates blood may lack of iron if they do not take nutritious diet.



Any health issue in our body may create one or more types of problems. This is one of them, most are not alarming, but some are severe ones.

  • Long time iron deficiency may cause Anemia
  • Can cause irregular menstrual cycles in women
  • Difficulty with pregnancy due to the irregularity of the cycles
  • Children are at greater risk for lead poisoning and infections due Iron-deficiency Anemia
  • Cardiac problems
    • Hard Work to compensate the supply of oxygen to the body, which may results to enlarged heart, heart murmurs and/or heart failure.

How Can Iron Deficiency Be Treated?

Food rich in iron

In mild to moderate iron deficiency, iron-rich foods and vitamin-containing diets can help in all ways. Here is the list of some iron-rich foods that you can find at any supermarket or grocery store.

  • Vegetables
    • leafy greens, spinach, tomato paste, potatoes, mushrooms, palm hearts
  • legumes
    • soya-beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, natto, other beans, peas
  • Foods rich in vitamin C 
    • broccoli, oranges, peppers, and strawberries
  • Seeds & Nuts
    • flaxseeds, pumpkin, pine nuts, cashews and other nuts
  • Dry fruits & Jaggery
    • Raisins, Dates, Almonds, Dried Apricot etc.

Some Important Herbs To Treat Iron deficiency

green veggies for Iron

Nature always helps and gives the best ever results so natural herbs are essential and useful for the human body.

You have to add herbs to the daily diet because the chances are high that you will not be iron deficient. Some of the herbs are commonly available and mentioned here.

  • Moringa Herb
    • Full of iron along with vitamins A, C, and magnesium, helps a lot in the cases of anemia
  • Spirulina
    • Helps a lot in various cases of iron deficiency
  • Turmeric
    • boost iron in our body
  • Basil
    • Source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, Manganese & Iron
  • Sesame seeds
    • Contains iron, zinc, copper, vitamin B6 & selenium, Vitamin E & folate
  • Beets
    • Rich array of iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and vitamins
  • Wheatgrass
    • Iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, & E and amino acids


In case you notice any of the symptoms of iron deficiency, immediately consult your doctor and perform the appropriate tests (CBC-complete Blood Count & Iron Tests) to confirm and get treatment accordingly.

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