Iron deficiency anem. Anemia makes you tired and pale. Some get lightheaded, or have chest pain or shortness of breath. Iron deficiency can cause "pica" (craving something above and beyond needing it for food). The most common symptom is munching ice. Other people crave starch, chalk, dirt, or other unusual substances. It's important that iron-deficient people see an md so dangerous things like GI cancer are ruled out.