Low Iron May Cause Restless Legs

Each cell in the body contains some of the mineral iron. Brain cells use it for a special purpose. Its use is to make a chemical called dopamine that the nerves use to communicate with the muscles and control the movements. Having not enough iron, the messages between the body and brain sometimes go awry. One concern is Restless Legs Syndrome which is uncomfortable sensations that cause a strong urge to move your legs.

Role of Iron in the Body

Iron has several functions in the human body and all contribute to good health and proper functioning. It contributes to:

  • Energy production: Iron is an important mineral for the cells. Our main energy basis is food and the cells need iron to change the food into energy. The more iron you have, the more energy you’re going to have. Conversely, too much iron may lead to some health problems, so try to stay within the norm.
  • Decreased in fatigue and weakness: Women who are taking iron supplements experience 48% less fatigue than those who do not take them according to a study. This explains the importance of iron especially in pregnant women or athletes who need to have more energy to function better.
  • Your normal cognitive function: Iron is important to concentration, memory, learning, and problem-solving. Your brain will perform at its best if your body has sufficient iron in its system, mainly the lymphocytes associated with the overall response of the body to infection.  
  • The normal function of the immune system: There’s a big connection between iron and the immune system. Wherein, iron is the main mineral that helps with the creation of cells and their development. Iron also plays a role in immune health as it is needed for immune cells maturation and proliferation.

Causes of Iron Deficiency

There are two main reasons you might end up short on iron. Several conditions increase your iron needs. Children and toddlers as well as pregnant women need more iron to support growth and development. People who lose blood, such as people who donate blood often or women with heavy menstrual periods also lose iron and should replace it.

In other circumstances, you don’t get sufficient iron in diets. Vegetarians might be at risk because the iron from plants is not as definitely absorbed as the iron from meat. Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, pregnancy, or rheumatoid arthritis all affect how much iron is in the brain or how it’s used. All increases your risk for Restless Legs Syndrome.  

Increasing Iron Stores

If you have Restless Legs Syndrome, your doctor may test your iron levels and look out for symptoms of iron deficiency such as:

  • An inflamed tongue or glossitis
  • Frequent infections
  • Trouble staying warm or keeping cool
  • Not performing as well at school or work
  • Weakness and fatigue

If blood tests show you are lacking iron, your doctor may recommend iron supplements. Usually, you will take them along with other medications for Restless Legs Syndrome.

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