Iron deficiency: Do you often have cold hands? It can signal iron deficiency anaemia

Dr Oscar Duke issues warning over ‘fizzy’ vitamins

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The Mayo Clinic says: “Initially, iron deficiency anaemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anaemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify.” It says iron deficiency anaemia signs and symptoms may include cold hands and feet.

Indeed, the Cleveland Clinic says: “Anaemia occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s organs.

“As a result, it’s common to feel cold and symptoms of tiredness or weakness.”

The Mayo Clinic says other signs include:

  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
  • Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anaemia.

The organisation adds: “If you or your child develops signs and symptoms that suggest iron deficiency anaemia, see your doctor.

“Iron deficiency anaemia isn’t something to self-diagnose or treat. So see your doctor for a diagnosis rather than taking iron supplements on your own.

“Overloading the body with iron can be dangerous because excess iron accumulation can damage your liver and cause other complications.”

The Cleveland Clinic says if you have anaemia that is not treated, it could lead to an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), an enlarged heart or heart failure.

It adds: “You are also at greater risk of getting infections and becoming depressed.”

The NHS explains iron deficiency anaemia is caused by lack of iron, often because of blood loss or pregnancy.

It notes it is treated with iron tablets and by eating iron-rich foods.

The health body says a simple blood test will confirm if you have iron deficiency anaemia.

The NHS says once the reason you have anaemia has been found the GP will recommend treatment.

It notes: “If the blood test shows your red blood cell count is low, iron tablets will be recommended to replace the iron that’s missing from your body.”

The health body says you will need to take them for about six months.

“Drinking orange juice after you’ve taken a tablet may help your body absorb the iron,” adds the NHS.

Nonetheless, it says: “Try taking the tablets with or soon after food to reduce the chance of side effects. It’s important to keep taking the tablets, even if you get side effects.”

  • Some people get side effects when taking iron tablets such as:
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Tummy pain
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling sick
  • Black poo

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