Any old iron


Eileen Durward
Menopause Advisor
@EileenDurward
Ask Eileen


28 October 2013

The tongue tells all

I have had a funny couple of weeks health-wise. Those of you who have read my previous blogs will know I had a period of fatigue – my fault of course, as I was doing too much and not looking after myself properly! Glad to report that I am feeling a lot better, more energy and back to my usual routine of yoga, exercise and relaxation.

However, a strange thing started to happen; my tongue would tingle and sometimes even get a bit sore, so this got me thinking. The tongue is an amazing part of the body: it allows us to taste and to talk but it is also a great indicator of our health.

The state of our tongue can even tell what parts of the body are affected: for instance a crack down the middle can indicate a weak stomach and poor digestion; a burning tongue can indicate a lack of gastric juices and possible tummy trouble; a red tip can indicate emotional upset or stress; and a thick yellow coating can indicate low friendly bacteria and poorly functioning bowels.

What my tingling tongue meant

I am lucky in that I work in an environment where there are the most amazing people I can turn to when I am not sure what’s going on, and although I had a rough idea what my tongue was telling me I wanted to double check. So, a sore tongue can indicate a nutrient deficiency such as B6 or niacin or iron, and as I take a vitamin B Complex every day it was more likely to be the iron.

At first I was a bit surprised as I have not had a period for years and I have a good diet with a little good quality red meat, but thinking about it I realised I have been run down and fatigued, which can be a sign of low iron and suddenly jumping straight back into regular exercise was probably the last straw. So the solution for me is that I am now on a gentle iron tonic and hopefully all will be well shortly.

What to do if you have low iron

Low iron (anaemia) can cause all sorts of symptoms such as fatigue, low mood, poor sleep, dizziness, poor hair and nails, poor memory and mental fogginess, and can contribute to heavy periods and flooding. Sounds surprisingly like menopause symptoms, doesn’t it? If you think this is you it is very important to get this checked out by your doctor first but do try to avoid prescription iron if you can. This kind of iron very often constipates and it turns your stools black – euk!

Your local healthshop will stock a gentle iron formula either in liquid (the best form) or a tablet.

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