Iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is surprisingly common and if left untreated can lead to a wide variety of effects on your body. Symptoms of iron deficiency may initially be subtle and mild however can become more profound, impacting on your quality of life, sporting performance and recovery after surgery.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency include:

  • Feeling fatigued and tired all the time 
  • Reduced fitness and lack of energy 
  • Hair loss  
  • Irritability  
  • Difficulty concentrating 'brain fog'
  • Depression, low mood
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness  
  • Brittle or spoon shaped nails 
  • Cold intolerance
  • Restless legs
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Cracks or ulcers in your mouth
  • Sore tongue and dry mouth
  • Abnormal food cravings  e.g. ice cubes, chalk, paper
  • Fast or racing heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Looking pale [Anaemia: lack of red blood cells]  

Symptoms may worsen as the iron deficiency becomes more severe which can lead to reduced mobility, increased risk of developing infections reduced exercise tolerance and increased risk of falls.
This can be exacerbated by other medical conditions such as chronic inflammatory conditions, heart and kidney disease and diabetes as well as during and after
Iron deficiency and anaemia can reduce oxygen delivery to vital tissues and the ability to reach peak fitness or VO2Max. This can have an impact on your physical strength affecting general fitness and competitiveness in sport.  

Iron deficiency can impact on recovery after surgery, causing delayed wound healing, reduced mobility and slower return to previous level of fitness.