If you have low iron levels, you may be wondering “What are the 3 stages of an iron deficiency?” The first stage involves iron depletion, or a significant reduction in the body’s ability to make hemoglobin. Iron deficiency results in lower than normal hemoglobin and reduced hematocrit levels. These conditions cause fatigue, irritability, and chronic tiredness.
The second stage is known as anemia. At this stage, your hemoglobin concentration is below normal, and you may have a low iron level. Normal hemoglobin concentrations range between 12 and 15 grams per deciliter for men and women. It is slightly higher in athletes and people living at higher altitudes. If you are not sure if you have an iron deficiency, talk to your doctor to make sure you’re not at risk.
In the first stage, your hemoglobin levels are decreasing. Your body uses up its iron stores to compensate, but they are not enough to lead to anemia. You must get enough iron through foods and supplements. You may also experience fatigue and a decreased ability to exercise. These are signs that your body needs more iron. It will be easier to detect a deficiency if you are concerned about your health.
When you think you may have an iron deficiency, your GP will probably order a blood test to confirm the cause. You’ll need to provide information about your lifestyle and health history. Your doctor may even order some blood tests to find out what other possible conditions might be causing your anemia, and you’ll likely be referred to a specialist for further investigation. Iron deficiency symptoms will become more prominent the longer you’re iron deficient, so a simple blood test is your first line of defense.
You can have chronic anemia if you have heavy menstrual bleeding or are pregnant. Other common causes include lead in the water or from environmental sources. Taking aspirin can also interfere with the absorption of iron. Certain diseases can also affect red blood cells, such as hemophilia, von Willebrand disease, and pregnancy. Additionally, heavy bleeding during pregnancy can lead to low levels of iron.
Another cause of iron deficiency is excessive blood loss, and you may not know it. Heavy menstrual periods are the most common cause, but other causes include taking too much aspirin, bleeding during surgery, or bleeding in the intestine. Some women have an iron deficiency because they are undergoing dialysis. People with end-stage kidney failure can also be at risk of developing an iron deficiency because they are on medicines that block the absorption of iron.
Symptoms of an iron deficiency include low hemoglobin levels and tiredness. It is essential to monitor iron levels in order to diagnose iron deficiency early. There are several ways to diagnose an iron deficiency, from iron depletion to full blown anemia. The symptoms of an iron deficiency vary depending on the cause, but the symptoms are recognizable.