Spotting Iron Deficiency in Women

Spotting Iron Deficiency in Women

Iron deficiency is a common nutritional deficiency, especially in women. According to research, women of childbearing age are at a higher risk of developing this condition due to menstruation among many other things. Iron plays a vital role in the formation of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues. Lack of enough iron in the body leads to the production of low hemoglobin, which leads to iron deficiency anemia.

Iron deficiency anemia can have a range of symptoms, and if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications. However, the good news is that it is easily treatable if detected early. In this blog, we will discuss women’s iron deficiency, its signs and symptoms, and how to treat it.

Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency in Women

The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency vary based on the severity of the deficiency. Some of these signs include:

  • Fatigue and weakness: Iron is essential for producing energy, and a lack of iron can lead to fatigue and weakness.
  • Pale skin: The lack of iron can lead to a pale complexion, and in severe cases, the skin may become almost white.
  • Shortness of breath: Iron is required to produce hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. A lack of iron can cause shortness of breath, particularly during exercise.
  • Headaches and dizziness: Iron deficiency can cause headaches and dizziness due to a lack of oxygen in the blood.
  • Heart palpitations: Iron deficiency can cause an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to heart palpitations.
  • Brittle nails: Iron deficiency can cause brittle nails that are prone to cracking and breaking.
  • Cold hands and feet: Iron is required to keep the body warm, and a lack of iron can lead to cold hands and feet.
  • Restless leg syndrome: Iron deficiency has been linked to restless leg syndrome, a condition where the legs feel uncomfortable and restless, particularly at night.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see your doctor. The doctor will perform a blood test to determine your iron level and provide appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency can be diagnosed through a blood test that measures the levels of hemoglobin, ferritin, and transferrin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, ferritin is the protein that stores iron, and transferrin is the blood plasma that transports iron through the blood to various tissues such as the liver and bone marrow. 

Treatment and Prevention for Iron Deficiency

If you are diagnosed with iron deficiency, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan that may include the following:

  • Iron Supplements: Iron supplements can help restore your iron levels to normal. You can take iron supplements orally or through intravenous infusion.
  • Intravenous iron infusions- Your doctor may recommend an iron infusion that results in higher absorption rates and patients can feel the results quicker. Most infusions last between 1-2 hours. 
  • Dietary Changes: Your doctor may recommend increasing your intake of iron-rich foods like red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Blood Transfusion: In severe cases of iron deficiency, a blood transfusion may be necessary.

Learn More About Women’s Iron Deficiency at the Cancer and Blood Disorder Treatment Centre

At Cancer and Blood Disorders Treatment Center, Dr. Meelu and the team are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to patients with blood disorders. Whether you need a routine blood test or treatment for any type of anemia, we are here to help you. We understand the risk of women’s iron deficiency and work around the clock to ensure their well-being. At the cancer and blood disorder center, you will meet expertise that will guide you on the treatment and prevention of iron deficiency in women. Contact us today by visiting our website or filling out our online contact form. You can also call us at 301-638-1007. Our team is ready to assist you in any way we can.