Warning signs of iron deficiency in CKD
One of the main symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue, a more extreme version of tiredness. If you are experiencing fatigue, you may feel physically and mentally exhausted, and lack energy for a number of days each week, even if you have not been doing any physical activities that are particularly tiring.1 You may be too exhausted to complete normal daily tasks such as getting dressed or going shopping, and you may often feel too tired to spend time with friends or family.
Fatigue is also a well known symptom of anaemia and CKD,2 so if you are experiencing fatigue it is important to speak to your doctor so that they can find out what is causing it. Remember that if your fatigue is due to iron deficiency, this can be treated and your doctor can recommend the most suitable treatments for you.
There are also many other signs that may indicate that you have iron deficiency or iron deficiency anaemia. These include:
- Dizziness,3 irritability4 and difficulty concentrating5
- Looking pale6
- Shortness of breath and a racing heart7
- Sore tongue or dry mouth8
- Cold intolerance9 or severe headache10
Use our Symptom Browser to see the complete list of symptoms that iron deficiency can cause and to understand what each of these symptoms involves.
Because there are multiple conditions that can lead to the same symptoms as iron deficiency, it is important that you discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor so that they can determine the most likely causes.
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- 2. Macdonald JH, Fearn L, Jibani M, Marcora SM. Exertional fatigue in patients with CKD. Am J Kidney Dis. 2012;60(6):930-9.
- 3. Paterson JA, Davis J, Gregory M, et al. A study on the effects of low haemoglobin on postnatal women. Midwifery. 1994;10(2):77-86.
- 4. Radlowski EC, Johnson RW. Perinatal iron deficiency and neurocognitive development. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013;7:1-11.
- 5. Albacar G, Sans T, Martín-Santos R, et al. An association between plasma ferritin concentrations measured 48 h after delivery and postpartum depression. J Affect Disord. 2011;131:136-42. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2010.11.006.
- 6. Stoltzfus R, Edward-Raj A. Clinical pallor is useful to detect severe anemia in populations where anemia is prevalent and severe. J Nutr. 1999;129(May):1675-1681.
- 7. Milman N. Postpartum anemia I: definition, prevalence, causes, and consequences. Ann Hematol. 2011;90(11):1247-53. doi:10.1007/s00277-011-1279-z.
- 8. Osaki T, Ueta E, Arisawa K, Kitamura Y, Matsugi N. The pathophysiology of glossal pain in patients with iron deficiency and anemia. Am J Med Sci. 1999;318(5):324-9.
- 9. World Health Organization. Iron deficiency anaemia. Assessment, prevention and control: A guide for programme managers.; 2001:1-114.
- 10. Vuković-Cvetković V, Plavec D, Lovrencić-Huzjan A, Galinović I, Serić V, Demarin V. Is iron deficiency anemia related to menstrual migraine? Post hoc analysis of an observational study evaluating clinical characteristics of patients with menstrual migraine. Acta Clin Croat. 2010;49(4):389-94.