the words iron deficency written on a medical file - a blog about what happens when you're low on iron.

What Happens When You’re Low on Iron?

Signs of Iron Deficiency and Anemia

If you are often tired, struggle to carry out everyday tasks and have pale or cold skin, you might be suffering from iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is sometimes referred to as anaemia and can have a huge impact on your daily life. 

Simple tasks like walking up stairs might tire you out. Your immune system may not work efficiently meaning you will be more susceptible to infection, and you may eventually need a blood transfusion to help restore your iron levels. But, don’t panic there are many ways to treat iron deficiency which you can get over the counter or online.

What Happens When You are Low on Iron?

When your body is lacking in iron, it struggles to produce enough haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is found in red blood cells and is responsible for making your blood red. Haemoglobin carries oxygen around your body. So, when you don’t have enough iron your muscles and organs will struggle to get enough oxygen leaving you feeling weak and tired.

Your heart will have to beat faster and harder to supply oxygen to your muscles, this is why those with anaemia often have a pounding or irregular heartbeat. You might also feel dizzy if you stand up too quickly. It can also make it harder to keep warm. Your hands and feet might always feel cold.

With less haemoglobin in your blood, you may also have a pale complexion. It can also make the lips and fingertips appear blue.

Your doctor can diagnose iron deficiency anaemia with a simple blood test. This will help to rule out any other conditions. Your doctor will also look for the cause of your anaemia. In women, the cause is most often heavy menstruation or pregnancy. In men, it can indicate gastrointestinal bleeding, which will need to be investigated.

What is the Best Way of Treating Iron Deficiency?

The best way of treating iron deficiency will depend on the cause and severity. In most cases, a simple daily iron supplement will help to increase your iron levels. You may have to take iron pills or a liquid iron supplement. You should start to feel better in a few weeks. Your doctor will be able to tell you how much iron you need. Most people will take one iron tablet three times per day to help overcome their deficiency but this needs to be confirmed by your doctor as every person’s situation varies.

Another great practice is to adjust your diet to include more iron-rich foods. These can help to prevent you from becoming iron deficient in the future. 

What Are the Most Iron-Rich Foods?

Iron is found in a range of plant and animal food sources. Red meat and organ meat are some of the richest sources of iron, but those on a vegetarian or plant-based diet can also get plenty of iron from the foods they eat.

Many bread products and cereals are fortified with iron, so a bowl of cereal in the morning could provide around 4.3 mg of iron. Iron is also found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale. You can also find iron in foods like legumes, including lentils and beans and peas. You can read more about vegetarian sources of iron here. 

Although a rich and varied diet will provide a good source of iron, those with intestinal problems may struggle to absorb enough iron from their diet. In this instance, an iron supplement is one of the best ways of treating iron deficiency. 

Before purchasing iron tablets online, you should confirm with your doctor that you have an iron deficiency. Your doctor will most likely prescribe ferrous fumarate or ferrous sulphate. If you don’t like taking iron pills, you can also find liquid iron supplements that are more gentle on your stomach. 

Can I Buy Iron Tablets Online?

If you are looking for iron tablets for treating iron deficiency, you can buy these online without a prescription. This will make it easier to manage your condition and will prevent you from forgetting your pills. If you’re not sure which iron tablets are right for treating your iron deficiency, get in touch with our friendly team today.

As always, it’s important you contact your doctor ahead of taking any supplements to ensure these won’t interact with any medication you’re taking and to confirm the best dose for you.

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