In order to properly diagnose low iron, both iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia, your doctor will need to order several blood tests.
The challenge is, routine blood work does not include the tests necessary to identify iron deficiency. Doctors often simply run a CBC, or Complete Blood Count, to analyze your blood health. While a CBC can identify low hemoglobin (anemia), it is missing serum ferritin, and therefore cannot diagnose iron deficiency.
In addition to iron, there are several other critical tests that identify nutrient deficiencies that frequently accompany iron deficiency; B-12, folic acid, and Vitamin D. Many doctors are not accustomed to ordering these tests, so it is important that you are prepared to request them.
It is also very important to note that the reference ranges considered ‘normal’ for several of these tests are extremely broad, and do not reflect the numbers needed to experience optimal health.
For example, the ‘normal’ reference range for ferritin is 13-200. If your blood test reveals a serum ferritin level of 15, your doctor may consider this a ‘normal’ result. When in actuality, a ferritin level of 15 indicates severe iron deficiency. Rest assured – you are not overreacting or imagining things despite your doctor’s indifference. Iron deficiency can and does cause significant symptoms!
Understanding these test results is a big step in discovering possible deficiencies that are affecting your health, and you are in the right place for arming yourself with this information. In the reference chart below, I have included both traditional lab reference ranges, and updated optimal ranges based on current research. You can print this page & take it with you to your doctor’s appointment.
*Disclaimer: This content is strictly the opinion of Krystal Moore or Three Arrows Nutra, LLC and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Krystal Moore, Three Arrows Nutra, LLC nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.