(HealthDay News) -- You need iron to make hemoglobin, the part of each red blood cell that carries oxygen throughout the body.
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More women than men are iron-deficient, which is common during pregnancy. You have iron-deficiency anemia when your body does not make enough healthy red blood cells or the blood cells do not work properly.
Iron-deficiency anemia often develops gradually and initially may lack symptoms. As time goes on, the U.S. Office on Women's Health says you may notice one or more of these symptoms:
- Low body temperature.
- Pale skin.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
- Shortness of breath or chest pain, especially with physical activity.
- Brittle nails.
- Pica (unusual cravings for ice, very cold drinks, or non-food items such as dirt or paper).
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