Iron: About This Test

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What is it?

This test measures the amount of iron in your blood. It is done on blood taken from a vein in your arm.

Too little iron can cause anemia, which can cause weakness, tiredness, or lack of stamina.

Too much iron can cause hemochromatosis. This is usually an inherited disease that can cause tiredness, weakness, liver problems, or pain in the joints.

Why is this test done?

A test for iron is done to:

  • Check for too much or too little iron in the blood.
  • Check to see if your diet is providing enough iron.
  • Check to see if treatment to keep the right amount of iron in your blood is working.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • Do not take iron supplements for 12 hours before your iron test.

What happens during the test?

A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What else should you know about the test?

  • Results are usually available within a few days.

What happens after the test?

  • You will be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

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