Iron Deficiency and Constant Fatigue

When you’re tired all of the time, live becomes very stressful. It’s hard to concentrate, make decisions or even do simple tasks. And it’s almost impossible to get any enjoyment out of the tasks you do manage to get done. If you’re tired all of the time and yet are getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night, you really need to go to the doctor.

Although constant fatigue might not seem like a problem serious enough for the doctor, it is. It could be all you need to feel better is a simple once daily iron supplement.

Signs and Symptoms

People who have iron deficiency (and this writer is one of them) tend to know because they’re tired all of the time. Now, unfortunately, this is also the symptom of more serious issues such as clinical depression (which I also have, which makes things nice and complicated). So, how did my doctor figure out that I had iron deficiency? I had these other problems, too:

I have very heavy periods I was not having my menopause I’m a tea drinker. Tea can interfere with iron absorption. I can’t eat beef because it makes me ill After a week of taking an iron supplement once a day, I felt better! (That clinched the diagnosis).

But this is just me. According to the Mayo Clinic, many people get other symptoms with iron deficiency besides fatigue. They include:

Brittle nails No appetite or very little appetite A craving to eat really, really weird things like candle wax, hair, dirt or pen caps Sore or swollen tongue Restless legs syndrome

Read The Directions

You don’t want to take too much iron. More is definitely not better with iron supplements! You risk liver damage by taking too much iron. Although my iron supplement’s label says to take three times a day, my doctor advised me to only take it once a day to see if that’s all my body needed – and to avoid overloading my body with iron.

Popping an iron supplement or switching to foods rich in iron will not automatically get rid of your constant fatigue. But it sure helps. You also need to exercise for a half hour at least five times a week. You also need to watch caffeine intake and learn how to relax without chemicals. All of this can help you get enough energy to get through the day.

Additional Resources

Iron Deficiency and Iron Deficiency Anemia: Pocket Atlas Special. Renate Huch & Roland Schaefer. Georg Theime Verlag; 2006.

University of Maryland Medical System. “Anemia.”

Iron Disorders Institute. “Iron Deficiency Anemia.”

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