Have you ever tested, or thought about testing, your ferritin levels? Ferritin is a blood protein that stores your iron – often referred to as your iron stores. If your iron stores go below 30ng/mL, you could be dealing with iron deficiency or iron deficiency anaemia. These conditions may present with symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and more. In this blog, we’ll discuss three reasons to use an iron deficiency test.
Our new iron deficiency test, available to purchase here quickly assesses your ferritin levels from a small blood sample. Results are presented as either normal (indicating ferritin levels are greater than 30ng/mL) or abnormal (indicating ferritin levels are lower than 30ng/mL), giving you valuable insights.
With 16 years of experience as a nutritional therapist, I’ve encountered various iron deficiency cases in my clinic, each with unique causes and symptoms. I’ve personally experienced iron deficiency multiple times due to a poor diet in my teenage years, child birth in my 30’s, and now perimenopause challenges. My symptoms have ranged from extreme fatigue, feeling like I was slogging through the day, to lightheadedness and faintness upon standing.
Here are three reasons to use an iron deficiency test:
1. Unexplainable fatigue – waking up unrefreshed after sleeping well
When did you last spring out of bed feeling full of energy rather than hit the snooze button, desperately hoping to get more energy from those precious extra minutes in bed?
If you’re waking up weary rather than refreshed and find yourself dragging yourself through the afternoons longing for a nap, then this is the section for you.
You might have been enticed by iron supplement advertisements on buses or in magazines, often linking fatigue to iron deficiency and urging you to buy their product. But what if your fatigue isn’t caused by iron deficiency or iron deficiency anaemia? These ads rarely mention that taking iron supplements when your ferritin levels are adequate could lead to serious medical complications, especially if you have excess ferritin due to conditions like haemochromatosis or a history of iron infusions/blood transfusions. The symptoms of excess ferritin closely resemble those of insufficient ferritin, so the only way to know for sure is through testing.
Our Iron Deficiency Test, requiring just 2 drops of blood from your fingertip and a few minutes of your time, provides you with the knowledge you need.
2. A history of under active thyroid dysfunction
The thyroid relies on various nutrients, including iron, to produce the essential thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3). If you’ve been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and are taking prescribed medications such as Levothyroxine, investigating your iron levels can offer insights into why your thyroid isn’t functioning optimally.
Should our Iron Deficiency Test reveal low ferritin levels, I recommend discussing the findings with your GP. Increasing your iron intake, whether through dietary sources or supplements, may enhance your thyroid’s hormone production capacity. This could potentially have additive effects in conjunction with your prescribed medication.
3. Experiencing an increase in frequency or heaviness of periods, particularly as you head into the throws of perimenopause
If you’ve noticed your menstrual cycle getting shorter (less time between periods, or bleeding for longer) and/or heavier bleeding during your period, then it’s possible your iron stores will be depleted.
These changes can happen at any time in your menstrual cycle, but after the age of 35, diminishing progesterone levels can lead to heavier periods. As we approach our mid-40’s, our cycles may also become more irregular due to changes in oestrogen levels.
Any changes in your menstrual cycle should be mentioned to your GP for further investigation, because losing a significant amount of blood each month means you will also be losing more iron each month. Monitoring your iron stores using the Iron Deficiency Test will help you to keep an eye on your iron stores, and know when to ask your doctor to test in more detail.
So there you have it, three reasons to use an Iron Deficiency Test. If you feel like one of these three issues relates to you, then maybe you should look at taking a test yourself. At Test Your Intolerance, we have Iron Deficiency Tests ready for you to use. Have a look at our Iron Deficiency Test here!