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About Iron Deficiency
Ferritin contains iron the body needs to make red blood cells. When ferritin is low, you are iron deficient. Without adequate iron, the body cannot make enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body and to the major organs. Low hemoglobin is anemia, not iron deficiency, although low hemoglobin (anemia) can be caused by iron deficiency which is the #1 nutritional deficiency in the world. Iron deficiency can be a debilitating disorder that may result in multiple symptoms including:

The 25 "Red Flags" of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)

  1. Low ferritin
  2. Extreme fatigue
  3. Weakness
  4. Lack of energy
  5. Headaches
  6. Dizziness
  7. Lightheadedness
  8. Fainting
  9. Rapid heartbeat
  10. Heart palpitations/flutters
  11. Chest pain
  12. Shortness of breath - after simple tasks such as climbing stairs, walking short distances, rushing around
  13. Cold hands and/or feet - low body temperature, unable to get and stay warm
  14. Pica - an intense craving to chew ice or non-food items
  15. Hair loss
  16. Restless Legs Syndrome /RLS - legs tingling, twitching, moving uncontrollably, especially when you go to bed
  17. Pale skin and/or pale areas inside of the eyelids, mouth and cheeks - oxygen-rich blood is scarce and is being diverted away from skin to major organs
  18. Blue sclera - white part of eyes can take on a bluish tint, similar to the look of skim milk
  19. Sore or pale tongue
  20. Nail abnormalities - brittle, spooned, ridged, streaked
  21. Whooshing or pounding sound or ringing in ears - can hear your heartbeat in your ears
  22. Irritability
  23. Foggy thinking, poor memory
  24. Anxiety, Depression
  25. Loss of interest in things you normally care about

How is Iron Deficiency Diagnosed?
A hemoglobin (finger stick) test is not enough to diagnose low iron. Obtain an Ironology Iron Panel to get the full picture and all of the tests required for your health care practitioner to make a proper diagnosis. 

For more information about Iron Deficiency Anemia, please visit www.getyourironup.org and www.irondisorders.org.
Information reprinted with permission from Iron Disorders Institute.