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?
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.
· Extreme fatigue
· 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
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.