Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. It's crucial for energy, brain function, and a strong immune system. Iron is in red meat, beans, fortified cereals, and leafy greens. Many, especially women and vegetarians, might need supplements. A lack of iron can lead to tiredness and weaken immunity....


Who would benefit from testing their iron levels?

Individuals showing symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, weakness, and pale skin, would benefit from testing their iron levels. This is particularly important for pregnant women, menstruating women, frequent blood donors, vegetarians, and people with gastrointestinal disorders that affect nutrient absorption.

What are symptoms of low and high iron?

Symptoms of Low Iron:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Pale skin and gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Brittle nails
  • Headaches

Symptoms of High Iron:

  • Joint pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Liver damage, indicated by a swollen liver or jaundice
  • Diabetes symptoms
  • Skin that appears bronze or gray
  • Irregular heart rhythms or heart palpitations
  • Hormonal imbalances

What foods are high in iron?

Foods high in iron include red meat, poultry, and fish, which are sources of heme iron, more easily absorbed by the body. Plant-based sources of non-heme iron include lentils, beans, tofu, fortified cereals, dark leafy greens like spinach, and dried fruits like raisins and apricots. Pairing these with vitamin C-rich foods can enhance iron absorption.

What are the benefits and dangers with iron supplementation?

Iron supplementation can effectively treat iron deficiency anemia, improving energy levels, cognitive function, and overall well-being. However, excessive iron intake can lead to iron overload, causing symptoms like liver damage, heart problems, and diabetes.

Test(s) that measure/test for Iron

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