Signs of iron deficiency include fatigue, pale skin, restless leg syndrome, brittle hands and fast heartbeat. Other signs include dizziness, frequent infections, headaches, and cravings for nonfood items such as dirt and ice, according to Mayo Clinic.
Possible causes of iron deficiency include blood loss, not enough iron intake in foods, inability to absorb iron, and pregnancy, claims Mayo Clinic. Blood tests are required to determine whether a person has an iron deficiency, according to MedicineNet. Iron deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth. It is the most common nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of anemia in the United States.