How Do I Check My Iron Level?
Healthy iron levels are essential for a healthy life.
If you have clicked on this article, you are probably wondering, how do I check my iron level?
Well, we will outline a few key facts about iron deficiency and checking iron levels in this article, which we hope you find informative.
Why does the body need iron?
Iron is an important mineral which is needed for energy, immune function and maintaining healthy blood. Children need iron to meet their nutritional needs, as it is vital for their growth and development.
Our bodies need iron because it plays a pivotal role in oxygen transportation. Iron binds to a protein called haemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen to the tissues from the lungs.
Why should I check my iron level?
It is worth keeping an eye on your iron levels. You may be deficient in iron (anaemic) without even realising it.
If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. So, your body will struggle to cope without these stores of iron. Your lungs and heart will have to work harder to supply the oxygen that the body needs, so you will feel more fatigued and short of breath.
What are the signs of iron deficiency?
Here are the symptoms to look out for:
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Feeling weak
- Low energy or lethargy
- Pale skin
- Frequent headaches
- Dry or damaged hair
- Hair loss
- If you are constantly feeling cold
- Cold hands
- Dry or damaged skin
- Brittle fingernails, which chip and crack easily
- More frequent infections
- Trouble concentrating
- Lack of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Sore muscles
- Cracks at the corner of the mouth
- Soreness in the tongue
- Unusual cravings
- Restless legs
- Bruising easily
- Developmental delays and behavioural problems in children
How do I check my iron level?
So, how do I check my iron level?
This is a self-administered finger-prick test, with easy-to-follow instructions and all the test kit materials provided.
Inside your test kit box, you will find:
- a test cassette
- a buffer
- an alcohol pad
- a capillary dropper
- a lancet
Simply follow the instructions provided, to take the test correctly, and the test will measure the levels of anaemia in your blood.
We will inform you via email of our full instructions on how to take your test and send the kit back to our accredited lab for analysis. Once your results and personalised report are ready to view, you will receive a notification via email to log in to the Official Rapid Test online platform.
Using an at-home test kit is convenient if you have a busy lifestyle. It means you don’t have to wait weeks to get your iron levels checked at your GP.
You can carry out the test at home and find out almost instantly if you are deficient in iron- which means you can start taking the steps to boost your iron levels.
If your results are outside the normal range and are of concern, it is a priority that you contact your local GP or emergency service by calling 111 or 999.
Please note: If you feel sick, unwell or are concerned about your health, it is your responsibility to get in touch with the emergency services as soon as possible, do not wait for results to be issued.
Disclaimer: If your test range is abnormal, we will not be held responsible for follow-up treatments or notifying a healthcare professional, by taking a test with us, you agree that you will take the necessary steps to follow up with a healthcare provider independently.
How much iron do I need per day?
- 7 mg a day for men over 18
- 8 mg a day for women aged 19 to 50
- 7 mg a day for women over 50
The recommended daily iron intake is 1.8 times higher for vegetarians and vegans, as they do not eat meat.
Pregnant women need around 27 mg of iron per day.
How much iron do children need per day?
Read this chart below to see how much iron children need per day:
How much iron do they need daily?
7 to 12 months old
1 to 3 years old
4 to 8 years old
9 to 13 years old
Can I donate blood if my iron is low?
If you want to become a blood donor, but your iron level is low, then you will be asked to wait until your iron level has returned to normal again, before making your donation.
Are there any foods which decrease the body’s absorption of iron?
There are certain foods and drinks which decrease iron absorption in the body. For instance, tea, coffee, and wine contain tannins which reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron.
What foods are rich in iron?
Iron-rich foods include:
- green vegetables
- red meat such as beef and lamb
- legumes such as lentils
- seafood such as salmon, haddock and oysters
- whole wheat bread & bran cereals
- figs, dates, prunes and apricots
- pumpkin seeds and flax seeds
How do you treat iron deficiency?
To treat iron deficiency, you can take iron tablets. These can be prescribed to you by your doctor.
If you suspect you are deficient in iron (anaemic), you can ask your GP for a blood test. They will check if your red blood cell count is normal. If the test shows that your red blood cell count is low, then your GP will prescribe you iron tablets and advise you on how to take them.
You should never take iron tablets if you have not been advised to by your doctor.
Never take more than the recommended dosage of iron tablets, as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. If you take too many iron supplements, this can damage your cells and even lead to serious symptoms such as iron poisoning. For this reason, it is especially important to keep iron tablets away from children.
Read more content like this
To learn more about iron deficiency, health tests, Covid testing and travel testing, click here to read our blog articles on:
- What Happens if Iron Is Too Low?
- How Do I Know if I've Got Iron Deficiency?
- Can I Treat Iron Deficiency Myself?
- Is There a Quick Test for Iron Deficiency?
- What Age Does Bowel Cancer Start?
- What Are the Signs of Bowel Problems?
- How Do You Check Your Bowel Health?
- How Does Strep A Get in Your Blood?
- Can I Enter the UK with an Antigen Test?
- What Is an In-Clinic Antigen Test?
- Do I Need an Antigen Test to Travel?
- Welzo & NFC technology
About Official Rapid Tests
At Official Rapid Tests, we are a UK Government listed testing provider. We are a team of medical industry experts, with a combined experience of 40 years in the testing, diagnostic and medical services sector.
With our services, it couldn’t be easier for you to test yourself (or your loved ones) for Covid-19. All you have to do is buy one of our Covid tests, which can be delivered the next day. Alternatively, book a Covid test at one of our test centres, as we have over 120 clinics all over the UK.
Our Covid tests are perfect for using as proof that you have negative Covid status if you are travelling. With every negative result, you will receive a signed note from one of our doctors, declaring that you are Covid-free and fit to travel.
If you are not sure what kind of Covid Test you need, then click here to take our quiz. This will tell you which type of Covid test is suitable based on your travel requirements.
We are open 24/7, seven days a week, for test results.
We hope you now have the answer to the question ‘how do I check my iron level?’
Read more articles on travelling and Covid tests on our blog here.