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Iron deficiency symptoms

If you have iron deficiency, you may not realise it, because it’s easy to mistake the signs of iron deficiency for simply feeling a bit run-down. You may feel tired. You may find it hard to concentrate and hard to motivate yourself to do the things you need to do.

If your iron levels get so low that you become anaemic, you can get a range of symptoms, including feeling:

You might also look pale, have brittle nails, have unusual cravings (such as for ice or starch) and get sick more often than usual.

These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and it’s important to see your doctor before taking any iron supplements.

To confirm whether you have iron deficiency, your doctor will talk to you and examine you. They may ask you to have a blood test to look at your iron levels and to check for anaemia. You may also need other tests to find out what is causing the iron deficiency.

Last reviewed: March 2017

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Iron deficiency anaemia - myDr.com.au

Iron deficiency anaemia is when lack of iron means that the blood does not produce enough haemoglobin. The iron deficiency needs to be prolonged to produce anaemia.

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Iron deficiency can be a nutritional problem for vegetarians, especially women. Find out about iron in food and how to enhance your iron absorption.

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To help evaluate the bone marrow's ability to produce red blood cells (RBCs) and to help distinguish between anaemia related to blood loss or destruction and anaemia related to decreased RBC production; to help monitor bone marrow response and return of normal marrow function following chemotherapy treatment, bone marrow transplant, or post-treatment follow-up for iron deficiency anaemia

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When you have been chronically exposed to lead, as part of a programme to monitor lead exposure, and/or when your doctor suspects lead poisoning; as part of a screening programme for iron deficiency in children and adolescents

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