Can I Test for Iron Deficiency at Home?
Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, and this includes the production of red blood cells. Iron deficiency is a common condition that can eventually lead to iron deficiency anaemia, where the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.
There are a variety of symptoms that come with this, including things like fatigue, weakness, and breathlessness. If you suspect you might have iron deficiency, and you want to be sure, you might be wondering if it’s possible to test this at home. In this blog post, we are going to explore the different ways of being able to check your iron levels at home, and the steps to take if you do have iron deficiency.
Iron Deficiency Anaemia
According to the official NHS website, iron deficiency anaemia is the most common form of anaemia in the UK. It is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells due to a lack of iron. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, such as those listed above, as well as things like pale skin. This condition can impact anyone, but is most common among women who are pregnant or who have heavy periods, as well as those with certain medical conditions.
Check if You Have Iron Deficiency Anaemia
The symptoms for this condition can vary, with some people having little to no symptoms at all. However, if you display any of the conditions mentioned earlier, it is possible you may well have iron deficiency anaemia. There are other symptoms to be aware of as well, including things like headaches, dizziness, cold hands & feet, and sore or inflamed tongue. If you’re experiencing any combination of these symptoms, you should make sure you check your iron levels to ensure you know the situation and can take steps to improve this.
If you have symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia, and you believe this is what you could be experiencing, it is important to make sure you visit your local GP. This is going to provide you with peace of mind, and will allow you to speak to an expert if you want to be able to take extra steps towards ensuring this is taken care of.
Home Testing Option
Of course, going to the GP is inconvenient, and, where possible, you don’t want to take time out of your day to do this. So, you may well be asking, can I test for iron deficiency at home? Answer is yes, because there is a quick and easy iron deficiency test you can carry out that is going to help you to achieve this. Through the use of an instant iron deficiency test kit from Officialw Rapid Tests, you will be able to conduct this testing from the comfort of your own home.
Things You Can do Yourself
There are a number of steps you can take yourself when it comes to improving your iron deficiency situation, and preventing this from happening. It is important to make sure you come up with some of the key changes you can make in your life that will help with this, such as eating a diet rich in iron, as well as upping your vitamin C intake, and reducing your consumption of tea and coffee.
Here is a list of some of the key things that you can do to treat iron deficiency yourself, alongside testing for iron deficiency at home, to ensure that you manage your condition more effectively:
Making sure you maintain a healthy and balanced diet is crucial for being able to treat and combat iron deficiency anaemia yourself. An iron-rich diet filled with red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, lentils, tofu and spinach would be excellent places to begin.
Take the Right Supplements
Taking the right supplements is an important part of the process when it comes to looking after yourself and trying to get as much iron as possible into your diet. A doctor prescribing your supplements can be hugely effective when helping with this, and you need to take them as advised.
Managing the symptoms involved with iron deficiency anaemia is really important, and this is something that you can do by resting and making sure you look after yourself a little better.
Causes of Iron Deficiency Anaemia
There are a lot of factors that can wind up causing iron deficiency anaemia, and it is important to be clear about what these are so that you know how to prepare for and approach them. Here are some of the key causes of iron deficiency anaemia that you need to know about moving forward.
A diet without enough iron is something that can contribute directly to iron deficiency anaemia, and this is particularly problematic for vegans and vegetarians.
Pregnant women are far more at risk from things like iron deficiency anaemia, mainly due to the body’s increased demand for iron.
Blood loss can have a negative impact on the body’s iron stores, and this is something that can occur after things like surgery.
Treatment for Iron Deficiency Anaemia
Being able to come up with some of the best ways of treating iron deficiency anaemia is important, and it is largely influenced by the severity of the condition. Mild cases can be treated with supplements and dietary changes, but the more extreme ones may require medical treatment. Here are a few of the top ways of being able to treat iron deficiency anaemia:
- Iron supplements
Iron supplements are the most common course of treatment for iron deficiency, and can have a major impact on your life. There are plenty of great iron supplements available in the UK, for those looking to treat their condition.
- Dietary changes
Making changes to your diet is one of the best things you can do, and this is something that you need to try to make the most of in order to improve your iron deficiency condition.
- Intravenous iron therapy
Intravenous iron therapy is something that could be necessary if you find that taking supplements doesn’t yield the results you're looking for. This is a procedure in which iron is administered directly into the bloodstream via an IV.
- Blood transfusion
In some unique and extreme cases, it might even be necessary to get a blood transfusion.
Here are some of the key questions you might have when asking yourself, can I test for iron deficiency at home?
1. What are iron tests?
Iron tests are blood tests that basically measure the levels of iron found in your blood. These tests are used to help diagnose iron deficiency anaemia, and they work by measuring serum iron levels, ferritin levels, and iron-binding capacity.
2. How do I use an at-home iron test?
At-home iron tests are a simple and easy to use option for those looking to test at home, and some of them require just a single drop of blood. The blood is applied to the test strip, and gives results in just minutes.
3. What do these results mean?
Depending on the outcome of the results, you might find that you have iron deficiency, or you may choose to get a second opinion on this. Either way, it is good to have an idea of how to proceed, and take steps to deal with this as much as possible.