Signs And Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency In Women

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder, affecting 20-25% of the World’s population, predominantly woman [R]. Your body depends on iron to create hemoglobin the oxygen-carrying chemical inside red blood cells. If your iron levels become to low, it can create iron deficiency anemia. When this happens, red blood cells become smaller and subsequently carry less hemoglobin.

In this article, you will learn

  • What Are The Causes Of Iron Deficiency?
  • Signs Of Low Iron & Iron Deficiency
  • Diagnosis Of Low Iron & Iron Deficiency
  • How To Treat Low Iron Levels & Iron Deficiency

What Are The Causes Of Iron Deficiency?

Iron deficiency can be caused by a host of different lifestyle factors. Most commonly, low iron levels occur if you’re not consuming enough iron through your diet, or if you’re losing too much iron, from your bodies inability to produce a sufficient supply of hemoglobin.

Blood Loss 

Iron deficiency is most common amongst premenopausal women due to the regular blood loss associated with menstrual periods. Yet any type of blood loss can impact your body’s ability to sufficiently reproduce enough red blood cells to replenish low iron levels. Causes of low iron and iron deficiency due to blood loss can also occur from

  • Digestive system issues, such as ulcers, colon polyps, colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Regular, long-term use of aspirin and other over-the-counter NSAIDS.
  • Donating blood too often or without enough time in between donations for your body to properly recover
  • Abnormally heavy menstrual periods
  • Uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths in the uterus that can cause heavy bleeding

RELATED ARTICLE Can You CrossFit On Your Period?


Without iron supplementation, pregnancy can often lead to iron deficiency, since your body demands more hemoglobin for the healthy development and growth of the fetus. We recommend Swolverine’s Multivitamin as it contains 150% of the recommended daily value as well as other key vitamins and minerals for overall health and wellness.

Lack Of Iron In Your Diet

Iron deficiency can also be caused by not getting enough iron through your diet and nutrition. Your body absorbs iron from animal sources such as beef, chicken, and fish nearly three times better than iron found in plant-based foods. It’s crucial for vegans and vegetarians to find good sources of iron, or supplement in order to get the recommended amount of iron in their diet. 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases [IBD] is characterized by increased gut lining permeability, which causes inflammation to the intestinal tract. IBD such as Chrons, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Leaky Gut, and Ulcerative Colitis can make it increasingly difficult for your body to absorb sufficient iron from your food. Additionally the intestinal wall is the first line of defense for many potential harmful ailments and bacterial substances, to protect the immune system. With increase gut permeability, you’re not only prone to iron deficiency but also inflammation, infection, bloating, and stomach pain.

RELATED ARTICLE L-Glutamine As A Potential Treatment Option For IBD       

If you’re experiencing IBD we recommend taking L-Glutamine. Several studies have proven that L-Glutamine helps rebuild and repair the lining of the intestinal tract and helps normalize intestinal permeability, to reduce severity and symptoms of IBD.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT L-Glutamine (Unflavored, 100 Servings) 

Additionally, probiotics can also supply healthy bacteria to rebuild your gut flora and body absorbs iron from your food.

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Probiotix (60 Servings)

Signs Of Low Iron & Iron Deficiency      

If you have an iron deficiency, you may exhibit mild, or may not exhibit any symptoms at all. However, as iron deficiency gets worse over time, you may exhibit some of the following symptoms.

  • Fatigue (very common)
  • Mental fogginess or poor mental processing (very common)
  • Weakness (very common)
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Low body temperature
  • Pale or yellow "sallow" skin jaundice
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain, especially with physical activity
  • Brittle nails
  • Pica (unusual cravings for ice, very cold drinks, or non-food items like dirt or paper)

If you’re exhibiting any of these signs or symptoms of iron deficiency, consult a physician to diagnose your blood iron levels through lab evaluation.

Diagnosis Of Low Iron & Iron Deficiency

If you believe that you have an iron deficiency, your physician may run a few simple tests to reveals characteristic changes in blood parameters for iron regulation storage, transport, and utilization [R].

Ferritin: the central parameter for determining low iron levels is ferritin. The ferritin complex protein structure acts as a cage and contains a large supply of iron molecules. A low level of ferritin often reveals a low level of iron [R].

Hemoglobin: Lower than normal levels of hemoglobin indicate anemia. The normal hemoglobin range is generally defined as 12 to 15.5 grams (g) of hemoglobin per deciliter (dL) of blood for women [R].

Before supplementing or self-diagnosing, it’s important to consult your physician to determine the proper plan of care for diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency.

How To Treat Low Iron Levels & Iron Deficiency

To specifically treat iron deficiency, supplementation is recommended [R]. Your physician will also try to treat the underlying and root cause of your iron deficiency.

Absorption is one of the main causes of iron deficiency, therefore to ensure that you properly absorb the iron from your food and supplements we recommend the following

Take Your Iron Supplement With A Probiotic Supplement

iron deficiency in women - swolverine

Probiotics help you absorb nutrients from your food, including iron from building your gut flora and microbiota. Without healthy gut bacteria, or determining why your body is iron deficient, taking an iron supplement alone, will not provide an adequately supply of iron, since your body will not be able to absorb. Take your probiotic with iron, to ensure efficient iron delivery. 

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Probiotix (60 Servings)

Take Your Iron Tablets With Vitamin C

Vitamin C specifically improves the absorption of iron. Your doctor might recommend taking your iron tablets with a glass of orange juice or with a vitamin C supplement [R]. This is yet another preventive case to ensure you get adequate iron into the blood stream. 

Take Your Iron Supplement With L-Glutamine

L-Glutamine is proven to help build and rebuild your intestinal tract, since it’s the preferred fuel source for your guts epithelial cells. IBD and ailments such as leaky gut, can cause intestinal hyperpermeability and result in the loss of vital and key nutrients such as Iron [R].

RECOMMENDED PRODUCT L-Glutamine (Unflavored, 100 Servings)

Signs & Symptoms Of Low Iron Deficiency In Women: Takeaway 

If you’re exhibiting signs of low iron such as chronic fatigue, mental fogginess, jaundice, or severe weakness, you may want to consult your physician to take a lab evaluation in order to determine your ferritin and hemoglobin levels. Low ferritin and hemoglobin is a sign of low iron deficiency and should be treated immediately with supplementation to appropriate iron levels into a normal and healthy range between 12 to 15.5 grams (g) of hemoglobin per deciliter (dL). 

Are you iron deficient? Looking for a way to increase your Iron levels?

Swolverine’s Multivitamin is the perfect addition to your nutrition plan. With 150% of your daily-recommended value of Iron, you’ll get your levels back up to where they should be in no time. Don’t forget to add glutamine and probiotics, to build a healthy gut flora and optimize your absorption. Without a way to turn your nutrients into fuel, you’ll miss out on the iron you need for optimal function. Get the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle with Swolverine.


SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform. 

We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle. 


Coad J, Conlon C. Iron deficiency in women: assessment, causes and consequences. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2011;14(6):625-34.

Miller, Jeffery L. “Iron deficiency anemia: a common and curable disease.” Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine vol. 3,7 10.1101/cshperspect.a011866 a011866. 1 Jul. 2013, doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a011866

O’Meara A, Infanti L, Stebler C, Ruesch M, Sigle JP, Stern M, Buser A 2011. The value of routine ferritin measurement in blood donors. Transfusion 51: 2183–2188 

Mei Z, Cogswell ME, Parvanta I, Lynch S, Beard JL, Stoltzfus RJ, Grummer-Strawn LM 2005.Hemoglobin and ferritin are currently the most efficient indicators of population response to iron interventions: An analysis of nine randomized controlled trials. J Nutr 135: 1974–1980

Lee AI, Okam MM 2011. Anemia in pregnancyHematol Oncol Clin North Am 25: 241–259, vii [PubMed[Google Scholar]

Anderson GJ, Frazer DM, McLaren GD 2009. Iron absorption and metabolism. Curr Opin Gastroenterol25: 129–135 [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Thankachan P, Walczyk T, Muthayya S, Kurpad AV, Hurrell RF 2008. Iron absorption in young Indian women: The interaction of iron status with the influence of tea and ascorbic acid. Am J Clin Nutr 87: 881–886 [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

IronNutritionWomens health

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