Latent Iron Deficiency


Latent Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is one of the most common forms of nutrient deficiency in the world, impacting over 2 billion people. Latent iron deficiency specifically is a condition in which iron stores in the body are low, yet anemia or other hematological symptoms are not yet present.

What Causes Latent Iron Deficiency?

Latent iron deficiency is caused by a gradual but persistent and ongoing loss of iron from the body. Over time, this can lead to a decline in the body’s iron stores that is not severe enough to cause anemia, but can still lead to a range of other issues related to the lack of iron in the blood.

What are the Common Symptoms of Latent Iron Deficiency?

The most common symptom of latent iron deficiency is tiredness, as the brain does not receive the iron it needs to function correctly. This can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, and general fatigue. Other possible symptoms include:
  • Severe headaches
  • Pale skin and lips
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Decreased sports performance

Diagnosing & Treating Latent Iron Deficiency

To diagnose latent iron deficiency, your doctor will typically do a complete physical examination and order a Complete Blood Count (CBC). They may also diagnose you by measuring the levels of certain proteins in the blood, such as transferrin and ferritin. To treat latent iron deficiency, your doctor may recommend increasing the amount of iron in your diet and/or taking an iron supplement. Foods that are rich in iron include lean meats, beans, spinach, and fortified cereals. It’s important to talk to your doctor about the best approach to treating latent iron deficiency, as too much iron can cause serious side effects. It is also important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle to help the body absorb and process the iron properly.