Recently we have started offering an “Iron Test” service.
Why should you have your iron levels tested?
Iron deficiency is actually a very common problem in Australia. The world heath organization estimates that as many of 15% of women of child bearing age may be deficient in iron.
Those at highest risk include menstruating women, pregnant and lactating women, babies and toddlers, teenage girls and female athletes.
The symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia are often very mild at 1st, many people do not even realise there is an issue until they are tested.
As the condition worsens symptoms such as the following can develop:
- general fatigue
- pale skin
- shortness of breath
- strange cravings to eat items that aren’t food, such as dirt, ice, or clay
- a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
- tongue swelling or soreness
- cold hands and feet
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- brittle nails
So what happens when you visit us and have your iron tested?
The test we perform is actually a haemoglobin test. Haemoglobin is the protein in your blood that allows it to transport oxygen. If your iron levels decrease, then the level of hemoglobin in your blood will also be lower than normal.
The test itself takes literally 2 minutes. It is done as a finger prick test, the same as testing blood sugar levels for diabetics.
If the test reveals you are outside of the normal range we will refer you to the Doctor for follow up. This is important because a low (or high haemoglobin) level is not ALWAYS an indicator of low iron levels and your Doctor may need to rule out other conditions also. Want to know more about the possible issues that a haemoglobin level outside the normal range might indicate? See MAYO CLINIC