Feeling Tired? You Could Be Iron Deficient.
After a restful sleep do you still find yourself feeling tired, or when you sit up you see spots? These are signs you could be iron deficient and need an iron supplement.
But you’re not alone! The World Health Organization estimates that over 25% of the global population is iron deficient affecting 3.5 billion people worldwide. So, how do you know if you’re one of them?
Let’s start with the key signs and symptoms for iron deficiency:
The first symptom of mild iron deficiency is fatigue, weakness or the feeling of brain fog. When iron deficiency is moderate-to-severe, deficiency symptoms include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness, spots before the eyes
- Pale skin
- Cold hands/feet
- Low concentration/forgetfulness
- Muscles feel tired or strained.
If the above sound like you, we recommend talking to your doctor or naturopathic doctor to get your blood levels checked, and whether modifications to diet or an iron supplement will help.
What can cause iron deficiency?
Mainly women are at risk for iron deficiency. One of the most common causes of iron deficiency is being a pre-menopausal female. Blood loss during menstruation, particularly if you have heavy flow, can lead to iron deficiency over time. We also increase our risk during pregnancy as our blood volume and iron requirements increase to support a growing baby. Many women after delivering their baby remain iron deficient adding to their feelings of exhaustion and “mommy brain”.
Our diet will also play a big role in our iron levels. The most readily absorbed iron is heme iron, which comes from animal products such as meat and liver. If we are following a vegetarian or vegan diet, we need to pay more attention to eating enough iron containing foods such as legumes, pumpkin seeds, and fortified cereals to hit our daily requirements. Digestive conditions such as celiac disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and inflammatory bowel disease will affect our absorption of iron and can also lead to further blood loss.
How can I increase my Iron Levels?
One way to increase iron levels is to add new foods into our diet and nutrients to increase iron absorption including green vegetables, nuts and meat, or to start on an iron supplement with vitamin C to boost iron stores and absorption. For teens, men and women on prenatals, we recommend VITALITY Daily Iron + Organic Spirulina and for those with ongoing iron deficiency to start on one-a-day, VITALITY Power Iron + Organic Spirulina. VITALITY’s iron supplements are award-winning, vegan iron supplements that help boost iron levels fast!