Iron Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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Why is
iron important?

Iron is essential for your health. It is vital to produce haemoglobin, the pigment that makes your blood red. The iron in haemoglobin combines with oxygen and transports it through the blood to your tissues and organs.


What does
low iron feel like?

If your iron is low, your body doesn't get the oxygen it needs to function as it should. This is why you can feel exhausted, breathless, and dizzy when your iron is low. Low iron can be due to dietary factors; you don't eat enough iron for your body's needs, or your body can't absorb iron properly because you have a gut or bowel condition like coeliac disease or Crohn's. Low iron is commonly caused by blood loss from menstruation or internal bleeding, often in the digestive tract. Iron deficiency anaemia can also develop in pregnancy.

Iron deficiency is the most prevalent nutritional problem in the UK and worldwide. In developed countries, around 10-20% of women of childbearing age are anaemic.


What is a blood test
for iron levels?

Our simple finger-prick blood test evaluates how much iron you have in your blood to diagnose low iron levels or monitor existing iron deficiency. Raised iron in the blood can indicate iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis), an inherited condition where your body cannot rid itself of excess iron.

With our test, you can look at your ability to store and transport iron and the actual iron levels in your blood. It also contains an inflammation marker (CRP-hs) to provide more insights into a raised ferritin (a measure of iron storage) level.


What's included?

Inflammation
Iron status
Select profile for more information

hs - CRP C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is an inflammation marker used to assess whether there is inflammation in the body - it does not identify where the inflammation is located. High Sensitivity CRP (CRP-hs) is a test used to detect low-level inflammation thought to damage blood vessels which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. When you suffer a serious injury or infection you experience significant inflammation around the site of injury - such as the swelling around a twisted ankle. Any injury like this will cause your CRP-hs to rise.
Iron Iron is a mineral that is essential for life. It is a component of haemoglobin, a protein in our red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen around our body. If we don't have enough iron, our haemoglobin levels fall and we can't get sufficient oxygen to our cells. This can cause symptoms which include fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Serum iron is a very transient reading and can be influenced by the amount of iron-rich food in your diet in the days before your blood test. For this reason, iron is rarely looked at on its own, and is interpreted alongside other markers in an iron status test.
TIBC Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is a measure of the ability of your body to efficiently carry iron through the blood.
Transferrin saturation Transferrin is made in the liver and is the major protein in the blood which binds to iron and transports it round the body. This test measures how much this protein is 'saturated' by iron.
Ferritin Ferritin is a protein which stores iron in your cells and tissues. Usually, the body incorporates iron into haemoglobin to be transported around the body, but when it has a surplus, it stores the remaining iron in ferritin for later use. Measuring ferritin levels gives us a good indication of the amount of iron stored in your body.

How to prepare
for your test

Special instructions

Prepare for your Iron Blood Test by following these instructions. Take this test when any symptoms of short-term illness have settled. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed.


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