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The Connection Between Iron Deficiency Anemia Oxygen Saturation

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Today I’d like to talk to you about iron deficiency and how it may be related to oxygen deficiency problems you may be experiencing.  In particular what are the connections between iron deficiency anemia oxygen saturation.

Iron deficiency is a very common nutritional deficiency.  “The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook” describes iron deficiency as one of the most frequent mineral deficiencies in the world (reference)  and it is more common for this to effect women than men. Iron is necessary for the body to produce hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in red blood cells.  Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.   The correct amount of hemoglobin must be produced or all the cells in the body will suffer.   Iron-deficiency anemia is diagnosed by blood tests that should include a complete blood count (CBC).

Iron deficient anemia can also cause shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, coldness in your hands and feet, pale skin, chest pain, weakness, and fatigue (tiredness).  Here are some signs that you may be iron, and thus oxygen, deficient.


The most common symptom of all types of anemia is fatigue (tiredness). Fatigue occurs because your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts (reference).  Though this may ben the most common symptom it is not difinitive because tiredness can be caused by many different things.   However, if you believe your “normal fatigue” has increased and it is coupled with feeling of weakness and increased irratation then this may be a sign of iron deficiency.

Hair Loss

One of the reason of your hair loss is iron deficiency. Hair fall is the result of full-blown iron deficiency anemia. “It sends your body into survival mode, so your body channels oxygen to support vital functions as opposed to ones like keeping your hair intact,” explains Jacques Moritz, M.D., director of gynecology at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt in New York City. Most people will lose about 100 hairs a day so don’t panic at seeing a few stands in your shower drain (reference).

You’re Unusually Pale

A possible reason for your being pale is having low level of hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is responsible for giving you that rosy pink tone to your skin.   Because Iron deficiency reduces the level of hemoglobin in the blood the reduced hemoglobin makes you pale.  But what if you are dark skinned?  Then just check the color of your lips, gums  and the inside of your bottom eyelids to see if they are less red; if so then lack of iron could be to blame.

Heart pounding and shortness of breath

Irregular heartbeats and other heart related problems are the result of iron deficiency anemia.  This happens because when red blood cells become deficient in iron, your heart must pump more frequently to make up for the reduced oxygen carried by red blood cells (reference).  Additionally, there may be times when you feel short of breathe.  This results from the iron insufficiency not allowing the bloods hemoglobin transport all the oxygen your body needs.

Your Head Hurts

Iron deficiency decreases the normal supply of oxygen to your brain and that makes brain arteries swell which causes headaches. The frequent headache is a signal that you should increase your iron consumption.

“Iron is a critical mineral because it helps produce hemoglobin, a protein that enables oxygen transport within your red blood cells. Insufficient iron supply compromises oxygen delivery to your body’s tissues, including your brain. You may, as a result, experience headaches. Statistically, however, headaches occur less often than other symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, according to the “Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide.” More common symptoms include tiredness, lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath and irritability.”  (Reference)

As you can now see, if you are having an iron deficiency you will most likely also have an oxygen deficiency. To determine the true cause of your symptoms please consult a qualified medical professional.

Originally posted 2015-01-06 02:15:20.

November 14th, 2017

Posted In: Why Your Body Needs Oxygen

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