Can You Check Your Iron Levels At Home?

Can You Check Your Iron Levels At Home?

Iron is an important mineral, especially for the health of your blood, but also for other bodily processes.

Unfortunately, many people these days have low iron levels, which cause fatigue and weakness, as they don’t follow a healthy, balanced diet that’s full of iron-rich foods.

Because of that, you may want to test your iron levels at home without visiting your doctor. Is that even possible these days?

Can You Check Your Iron Levels At Home?

Depending on where you live and how accurate you want the test to be, there are several options to test your iron levels from the comfort of your own house. Many tech companies produce iron testing kits.

There are also labs that you can visit that don’t require a visit to your personal health professional, and you are usually able to get the test results relatively quickly.

Why is iron important?

One of the best benefits of iron is that it helps you maintain stable energy levels and prevent fatigue. This has a lot to do with the positive effects of iron on your blood levels and red blood cells.

Low-iron levels may cause extreme fatigue and dizziness if you stand up fast, especially in teenagers and young adults. As a result, simply increasing your iron intake can reduce these symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing.

Iron Rich Food

Iron helps create hemoglobin, an essential protein that helps transport oxygen throughout your body. This is important as it helps your body remain oxygenated and remove carbon dioxide from your body.

Most healthy adult men (above 19 years old) require 8 mg of iron a day, while women in the same age group need 18 mg of iron. This huge difference is due to the metabolic processes that women experience and men don’t, such as menstruation.

Unfortunately, many people these days don’t take in enough iron, especially those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets. This is because non-heme iron (the one found in plants) is much harder for your body to absorb than heme iron found in meat.

As a result, vegetarians and vegans have to take in even twice as much iron as the recommended value to make up for the absorption difference.

Some high-iron foods include:

  • Red meat
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Iron-fortified cereals and bread
  • Legumes
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Oats
  • Tofu
  • Fatty fish

To avoid anemia, people who don’t eat meat have to make sure to add even more iron-rich foods to their diets. Sometimes they may even have to take in some supplements to prevent any health issues due to low iron intake.

Iron Rich Food
Iron Rich Food

How do I know if I should get my iron levels checked?

Iron deficiency happens when iron stores in your body are too low. It can occur when your body flushes out excess iron as a result of some health condition or if you don’t eat enough iron-rich foods.

A large number of the world population has low iron levels, but if it’s a short-term issue, it won’t negatively impact your health.

Iron + Vitamin C at FutureKind.com

Some symptoms of low iron levels include:

  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Pale skin
  • Heart palpitations

Usually, once you adjust your diet or start taking some iron supplements, your iron levels should normalize, and the symptoms should go away. If they don’t, make sure to contact your doctor, as a healthcare professional can help you diagnose the issue and address it.

Iron overdose or poisoning used to be a serious issue, especially in children and due to medication. But luckily, these days, it’s on the decline. It can still occur, though, so make sure not to take iron supplements if you absolutely don’t have to.

Some symptoms of iron poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure and weak pulse
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Greyish or bluish skin
  • Seizures
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin because of liver damage)

As you can see, the symptoms of iron deficiency and poisoning can be similar, so it’s always best to consult your doctor if you suffer from any of these. It’s never a good idea to self-diagnose, no matter how sure you might be about what’s going on.

What are some alternative ways to check your iron levels?

Checking your iron levels usually involves a doctor’s visit. A healthcare professional can perform an easy blood test that helps determine whether you suffer from a deficiency, overdose, or if your iron levels are OK.

Healthy adults shouldn’t worry too much about ordering such a test as iron levels are strictly monitored in your body, and any excess is removed. But if you suffer from certain health issues that impact how much iron your body absorbs, you may want to book regular tests to ensure that your iron levels are in check.

Iron Fe
Iron Fe

If you want to check your iron levels yourself, there are many options you can look into. Most involve visiting a lab or local clinic where a healthcare professional will draw your blood.

Then, you’ll get your results quickly, either in the mail or by phone call. Some companies also make-at-home testing kits for iron levels, but it depends on where you live and whether they deliver to your location.

Specific countries and regions have their own testing companies, so a quick online search can help you determine whether that’s an option for you.

It’s also worth noting that home tests for any kind of mineral and vitamin aren’t as reliable as blood tests performed in a lab. This is because they are usually much simpler to use and less sensitive to iron levels.

What’s more, home testing kits are usually on the pricier side, so make sure that you really want to invest in those before buying them.

As mentioned before, most healthy adults don’t need to monitor their iron levels that carefully, and it’s usually enough to follow a healthy, balanced diet filled with iron-rich foods.

Iron is an incredibly essential mineral for your blood and other important bodily functions. So, it’s no wonder that some people want to be able to test their iron levels at home.

Iron + Vitamin C at FutureKind.com

While there are some effective ways of checking your iron levels, it’s always best to address any serious health issues and symptoms with a healthcare professional.