Iron is an essential trace element and is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and certain enzymes.
This iron test checks the amount of iron in the blood to see how well iron is metabolized in the body.
Iron tests are used to check for iron deficiency anaemia, check for a condition called haemochromatosis, check nutritional status or to check to see if iron and nutritional treatment is working.
Iron (Fe) is a mineral needed for haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
Iron is also needed for energy, good muscle and organ function.
Roughly 70% of the body's iron is bound to haemoglobin. The rest is bound to other proteins or stored in other body tissues. When red blood cells die, their iron is released and carried by transferrin to the bone marrow and to other organs such as the liver and spleen. In the bone marrow, iron is stored and used as needed to make new red blood cells.
Recent consumption of iron-rich foods, or of iron pills or tablets, can affect test results, as can recent blood transfusions. Alcohol and drugs, such as oral contraceptives, can increase iron levels, whereas testosterone, large doses of aspirin, metformin, and ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) can decrease them.
These tests and many more are all included in our Health Checks.