Iron Overload (Haemochromatosis) Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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What is
iron overload?

Haemochromatosis, also referred to as iron overload, is an inherited condition which causes iron in the body to build up over a long time.

What happens when
iron levels are too high?

A build-up of iron in your body can cause symptoms including fatigue, joint pain and weakness, abdominal pain, and weight loss. If left untreated, iron overload can lead to health issues, including damage to the joints, liver, heart, and pancreas.

Haemochromatosis is more likely to occur in people with a northern European background, particularly Celtic background, such as in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

How do you treat
iron overload?

The treatment for haemochromatosis is to have blood taken from your body via a phlebotomy blood draw to reduce your iron levels. There is also medication that can reduce the amount of iron in the body, like chelation therapy.

Our iron overload blood test includes an iron profile to see how much iron is in your blood and how much is stored in your body (ferritin). It also checks for the hereditary haemochromatosis genetic marker to help confirm a haemochromatosis diagnosis.

What's Included?

Iron status
Select profile for more information

Hereditary Haemochromatosis
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 Overload (Haemochromatosis) Blood Test by following these instructions. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed.