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Iron Deficiency Anemia

Low iron is more common in women then many realize. Approximately 75% women have mild iron deficiency Anemia. It is not standard practice to run a Ferritin lab so it goes undiagnosed for years, as a CBC, the standard lab will show up normal.


When your iron is at normal level (60-200)- you generally feel balanced and have good energy.


When iron is low this can cause:

  • Tired/ fatigue/ weak

  • Increase in Migraines

  • Hair falls out

  • Cold

  • Pale

  • Painful joints

  • Restless legs - RLS

  • Brittle nails.

  • *If really low - you can also get Short of breath, Palpitations, and Dizzy.

  • *A sign that someone you know may have issues is they eat “odd things” called “Pica” or lots of ice. Typically, the person will not find this “odd.”

Who should get checked?

Iron deficiency anemia should be checked if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, heavy menses, eat as a vegetarian, have had bariatric surgery, have inflammatory problems or liver disease, and/or take a PPI (Prilosec/ omeprazole or Protonix).

To get technical:

The lab “CBC” – shows hemoglobin and hematocrit- this tells if you are “anemic.”

Vs the lab “Ferritin”- shows your iron storage- being “iron deficient.”


What to look for:

Decreased Hemoglobin / Hematocrit, or Increase in RDW and Decrease in MCV on CC.

Or FE <60 (not 20 which is typical lab standard).

*of note if FE is high- this also needs attention, please contact your provider.

Can also look at Transferrin.



Easy Fix:

Take iron supplement 65mg (325mg) daily, by itself or with Vit C for 1 hour as iron is difficult to absorb. Depending on how low may take up to 4, common side effect. 33% none, 33% constipation, 33% diarrhea. Recheck lab every 3-4 months to confirm you are actually absorbing iron, as you may need IV infusion.


**Do not use this article as sole medical advice, talk with your provider or make an appointment with us.


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