WebMD: “Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in
red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout
your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body's iron.
If you don't have enough iron, your body can't make enough healthy
oxygen-carrying red blood cells.”
Low Iron is the most common deficiency in the United States and directly
relates to how we feel. If our body doesn’t receive enough iron,
our red blood cells are not able to successfully carry enough oxygen through
our body and fatigue is the following result. This fatigue can be felt
in the brain and the body! In addition, iron is essential in maintaining
healthy cells, hair, skin and nails.
Women are most often affected by an iron deficiency, due to menstruation.
Symptoms of low iron include paleness, feeling short of breath, a rapid
heartbeat, cold hands and feet, brittle nails and hair loss, sores in
the corner of the mouth, and a sore tongue. A severe iron deficiency can
even cause difficulty swallowing.
Most people only absorb about 10% of the iron they consume. There are some
though that absorb as much as 30% of the iron they take in, which relates
to an inherited genetic condition called hemochromatosis. With this condition,
iron is retained and deposited in the body and can cause other health
problems in the liver, heart and pancreas, and ultimately cause cirrhosis,
heart failure and diabetes. Some of the symptoms of high iron are similar
to low iron, but also include stiff, achy joints, too.
physician should have you check your Iron levels at least every five years, as part
of your annual physical. Iron should be evaluated periodically if you
suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis or
have other nutrient absorption problems. Genetic testing for hemochromatosis
is recommended for first degree relatives of those who have the condition.
Visit with your health care provider if you have concerns about your iron.
Interpreting iron results from a blood panel can be confusing, because
you may see your iron, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), iron saturation
index, and ferritin all listed. Visit with your health care provider if
you have concerns about your iron. Or, visit
www.cchwyo.org/results for some general information on understanding your blood results.
Campbell County Health
Wellness offers Iron Panel
blood screenings, Monday-Friday from 6-11 am at 1901 Energy Court, Suite 125, located behind
Wendy’s and Common Cents. Your results can be faxed quickly to your
physician and are mailed directly to your home in just a few days. Walk-ins
are welcome! To learn more about Wellness, please visit
www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist