Iron is an essential mineral found in the body. It plays several vital roles in the proper functioning of the body. For example, iron is a constituent of haemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen from your lungs to other body parts. It also helps the muscles use and store oxygen and bone marrow health, making up many enzymes and proteins.
Your body requires the right amount of oxygen for optimal function. If iron in the body is insufficient, iron deficiency anaemia may occur. Low iron levels may result from poor diet, the inability of the body to absorb iron from foods and blood loss. Young children and women who have periods or are pregnant are at a higher risk of having insufficient iron.
Excess iron is also harmful to the body. This may result from taking too many iron supplements. Some people also have hemochromatosis, an inherited disease that makes the body accumulate excess iron.
Iron tests are available to measure the iron levels in the blood. The different iron tests include the following.
Healthcare professionals usually order some or all of these tests together.
Iron tests are usually used for the following.
Your healthcare provider may recommend iron testing if you have symptoms of too high or low iron levels.
The healthcare professional will use a small needle to take your blood sample from a vein in your arm. After inserting the needle, the professional will draw a small amount of blood for the test into a vial or tube. You may feel a slight sting as the needle enters and exits your arm. The blood collection takes about five minutes.
The healthcare professional may inform you to fast before the test, meaning you should not eat or drink for twelve hours before the test. The iron test is usually done in the morning. You can also ask your provider questions concerning specific preparations before your test.
Iron tests have very little risk, like other blood tests. You may also feel a little pain or bruising at the spot the needle entered your arm, but the symptoms usually clear quickly.
If your iron test results show low levels, it may indicate you have:
High iron levels may mean you have:
Many conditions that result in low or high iron are easily treated with diet, supplements and other therapies.
An iron test result that shows abnormal levels may not mean you need treatment. Sometimes, medicines, including oestrogen treatments and birth control pills, can affect iron levels. Women may also have lower iron levels during their menstruation.
Your healthcare professional may order the following blood test to check your iron levels.
If you experience symptoms of low or high iron levels and need iron tests, contact our Clinic on 02071830244 to book an appointment for your test. You can also contact us or visit our clinic for more information about our iron tests.