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Iron deficiency develops when the body does not have enough iron to make healthy, properly functioning red blood cells and hemoglobin. Iron deficiency often goes undiagnosed because its symptoms are subtle and the body learns to do without iron by functioning at a lower, but much less efficient rate. So it is not unusual that inadequate iron levels are a chronic, but normal condition for many people. There are two stages when there is a shortage of iron in the body; first iron deficiency, then anemia. Both are very common because iron is one of the most poorly absorbed minerals. The main symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue. With anemia, this symptom deteriorates to exhaustion. Other symptoms of iron deficiency include a pale complexion, finger nail ridges, dry brittle hair, dizziness, poor concentration and unsettled sleep patterns. Additional consequences of anemia include impaired physical endurance, work capacity, infant growth and development, as well as depressed immune functioning.
Who needs iron?
Women generally have a greater need for iron, due to menstruation, pregnancy and nursing
Growing children and adolescents need more blood cells - and the iron to produce them
Older people often lack iron, due to improper digestion of their food
Athletes and those that work out intensely require extra iron to circulate oxygen to all of the muscles and replenish them. Iron is lost through sweat
Any person who lacks iron from their regular diet