Most people are familiar with the monthly symptoms of menstruation. However, an often-overlooked consequence of menstruation – especially for people who suffer from heavy periods – can be iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency is not something that will just affect you during the week of your period. It can affect many aspects of your life all month long. The following signs can indicate iron deficiency (although they may be caused by other conditions as well).
1. Cold extremities. Iron is essential to helping your blood carry oxygen to your tissues for cellular metabolism. If this process is being hindered, often the first places to suffer are the fingers and toes.
Chronic headaches. Again, owing to iron’s important role in keeping your tissues oxygenated, headaches can result from iron deficiency.
Fatigue. If your blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity is diminished, so is your energy.
Anterior Head Syndrome. As the body attempts to make up for diminished tissue oxygenation with increased respiration, the head has a tendency to shift forward over time.
5. Craving ice. Iron deficiency can cause a person to crave non-food substances, particularly ice.
If you notice any of these signs, you may want to consider getting checked for iron deficiency at your next physical.