Iron Deficiency and Your Heart

Paul Ramey October 08, 2019

Iron deficiency anemia can result in lethargy, difficulty concentrating, and shortness of breath. It’s also one of the most common reasons for blood-donation deferral. But did you know that iron deficiency can also result in heart damage and even failure?

 Anemia lowers oxygen levels

The chronically diminished oxygen levels related to anemia can be devastating to heart health. Iron is responsible for delivering oxygen and carbon dioxide to the body – without a ready supply of those cell-building ingredients, the heart must work much harder to do its job.

 Mild iron deficiency anemia usually doesn’t cause complications and can be addressed with iron supplementation. However, according to it is important to see a doctor concerning this condition, as self-diagnosing or treating can result in excess iron accumulation which can cause liver or other organ damage.

 Iron deficiency anemia symptoms can include:

·         Extreme fatigue

·         Weakness

·         Pale skin

·         Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath

·         Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness

·         Cold hands and feet

·         Inflammation or soreness of your tongue

·         Brittle nails

·         Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, or starch

·         Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia


 Iron and blood donation

Your iron levels can change on a daily basis. Before you donate blood, we will check to make sure your iron is high enough to donate. If you have to delay donating because of low iron, try eating iron-rich foods the week before your donation to boost your iron.







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Paul Ramey

Paul Ramey is a Graphic Designer with OneBlood. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Paul is a published author (Edgar Wilde and the Lost Grimoire) as well as a musician (It All Flows Away). Paul is very proud to bring his creativity and marketing background to OneBlood’s lifesaving mission.

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