How to Identify Iron Deficiency: Important Blood Tests to Identify Low Iron Deficiency & Anemia

Did you know that routine blood work does not include the tests necessary to identify iron deficiency.  What?!

I know that sounds crazy, but stick around and we’ll dive into HOW that is possible and I’ll give you a list of the IMPORTANT tests you need to request (that your doctor won’t order if you don’t ask) to get the best answers for your heath!

If you’ve struggled with the many symptoms of low iron, but your blood work has always been ‘normal’

Doctors often simply run a CBC, or Complete Blood Count, to analyze your blood health.  While a CBC can identify low hemoglobin (iron deficiency anemia)…but that is only part of the story! The CBC is missing the test you need to identify the first (and potentially severe) stages of iron deficiency!

Many women experience significant symptoms of iron deficiency despite their CBC indicating a ‘normal’ hemoglobin level.   

Our understanding of the importance of iron has come a loooong way over the past 10-15 years. Science used to tell us that iron was really only important for the formation of hemoglobin (the iron containing protein that carriers oxygen through the blood). As a result, doctors were trained to look at hemoglobin as the only marker for establishing healthy iron levels.

If hemoglobin was ‘normal’ then low iron wasn’t considered a possible cause for their patients’ symptoms – like exhaustion, headaches, brain fog, hair loss, etc.

However, recent studies have revealed that iron is actually involved in nearly all the cellular functions & metabolic processes our bodies complete every day

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. 

Sadly, many doctors are not aware of the current research confirming that the ‘normal’ reference ranges are grossly inaccurate and do not reflect optimal health for their patients.

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.

Click Here to Download a FREE Copy of

The Iron Repair Manual for a deeper explanation of each test, why it’s important, & a science based road map to fight your iron deficiency.

The Science & Secrets You Can Use to Fight Back against Iron deficiency. Including:

  1. Symptom Checker: What is your body trying to tell you?
  2. Risk Factors: Am I at risk of iron deficiency?
  3. Secret Blood Tests: Test you NEED, but your doctor probably hasn’t ordered!
  4. Iron In Your Diet: What helps & hurts iron absorption?
  5. The Secret Iron Body Guard: The newly discovered iron regulator (that your doctor may not even be aware of) that controls iron absorption.
  6. Iron Supplements: Why the iron supplement you’re taking is actually working AGAINST you and making it almost impossible to raise your iron levels!
  7. The Iron Repair Method: The science based road map I created to improve your iron levels and take back your life!

Click Here to get your free copy!


Noemia LM, Carmen VL (2018) Ferritin: Could be a Health Indicator. J Fam Med Dis Prev 4:078.


Esa Soppi (2019) Iron Deficiency Without Anemia – Common, Important, Neglected. Clin Case Rep Rev 5: DOI: 10.15761/CCRR.1000456

Dig Liver Dis. 2013 Oct;45(10):803-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2013.02.019. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

*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.

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