CPR First Aid

What Causes Low Iron in Men?

What Causes Low Iron in Men?

According to Healthdirect, Australia’s national virtual public health information service, there are 3 main causes of low iron in men. These are insufficient consumption of iron-rich food, issues with iron absorption, and blood loss. Fortunately, remedies and treatments are available so it is still possible to return to a normal rate. Young males and men may find these helpful especially since statistics show they are more prone to having low iron levels. So, they may experience symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and others, which have negative effects on their bodies, including heart palpitations. The application of preventive measures may help avoid low iron levels in the first place and information on these is found below.

What Causes Low Iron in Men?

Iron, a mineral that the body uses for growth and development, may have low levels due to the following causes.

Insufficient Consumption of Iron-Rich Foods

The body can only store iron but not produce it, so the lack of eating the following iron-rich food may lead to a deficiency. 

  • Eggs
  • Dried apricots
  • Fish
  • Iron-fortified cereals
  • Leafy green vegetables 
  • Legumes 
  • Oats
  • Poultry
  • Quinoa
  • Red meat
  • Offal 
  • Seeds
  • Nuts 
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Wholegrain bread and cereals

Certain people such as children, teenagers, vegetarians, and vegans may need more iron due to their body’s needs.

Issues with Iron Absorption

People who have the following health conditions may suffer from difficulties in iron absorption.

  • Chronic renal failure
  • Coeliac disease
  • H. pylori colonisation disease
  • Men who have undergone surgery such as gastrectomy or intestinal bypass
  • Chronic gastritis

Most of these involve the stomach or bowel where the absorption of iron passes through. 

Blood Loss

Too much blood loss due to the following conditions may lead to low iron levels.

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Ulcers
  • Bowel polyps
  • Cancer
  • Losing too much blood after surgery
  • Gut conditions
  • Infections with parasites
  • Multiple blood donations

Too much bleeding means you are also losing a lot of iron.

How to Treat Low Iron Levels?

According to the Better Health Channel, a website by the Victorian Government, the treatment for low iron levels depends on the cause.

  • Eating more iron-rich food if it’s due to the diet with the guidance of a GP or a nutritionist
  • Taking iron supplements following a doctor’s prescription if due to issues with iron absorption
  • Treating the underlying medical problem in a hospital

It’s important to see a GP first before you apply any dietary changes for guidance and monitoring.

Treatment for low iron levels varies based on the cause.

Why are Low Iron in Young Males and Men Common?

NHS Inform, Scotland’s national health information service, explains that the most common cause of iron deficiency in men and young males is bleeding in the stomach and intestines.

Stomach ulcers, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, or taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause it. 

What are the Symptoms of Low Iron in Men?

If the below symptoms occur, it may indicate a lack of iron in the body.

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations

The same signs may also indicate another health issue, so it is best to consult with a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

What are the Effects of Low Iron in Men?

Aside from suffering from symptoms, young males and men may also experience the below.

  • A weaker immune system makes men prone to infections
  • Poor concentration and performance at work and in sports

Men may also have a decreased libido or sex drive.

Does Low Iron Affect Your Memory?

Yes, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK, a registered charity, people with low iron levels are thought to be more at risk of developing issues with memory. Problems with thinking, communication, and understanding may also arise. 

How to Prevent Low Iron in Men?

Unfortunately, there is no immediate first aid available for iron deficiency. It takes time to apply dietary changes, feel the effects of supplements, and finish treatments for an underlying medical condition. So, it may be ideal to prevent it as much as possible by doing the following.

  • Meet the minimum iron intake every day
    -11 mg for boys 14 to 18 years old
    -8 mg for boys 19+ years old
  • Consume the best sources of iron whenever possible
    -Red lentils
    -Fried sardines
    -Unsalted cashew nuts
    -Grilled kangaroo loin fillet
    -Dried apricots
    -Grilled beef sausage
    -Canned chickpeas
    -Canned tuna

Visit the website of Healthdirect for meal ideas that include these iron sources.

Iron deficiency lacks instant remedies. Dietary shifts, supplement effects, and treating underlying conditions take time. Preventive measures are key.


Insufficient consumption of iron-rich foods, issues with iron absorption, and blood loss are the 3 main causes of low iron in men. Dietary changes, iron supplements, and hospital treatments may help treat it according to a doctor’s advice. Low iron in men is common due to bleeding in the stomach which occurs because of certain health issues and medicines. It may cause symptoms such as fatigue and heart palpitations which negatively affect many health aspects of the men. But, consuming iron-rich food every day and meeting minimum daily iron intake may help prevent it.



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