A healthy result should fall into the range 38 - 169 µg/dL, 6.80 - 30.25 µmol/L, or 38.00 - 169.00 umol/L.
The human body requires iron to perform many vital physiological functions. Iron in the blood is mostly bound to the transportation protein transferrin. Most iron in the body is bound to red blood cells or stored in the spleen and cannot be directly tested. The body takes in iron from the food you eat so it is important to have good sources of iron in your diet. Only about 10% of the iron you consume is absorbed. The process of iron absorption is tightly regulated because your body does not have any biochemical ways of removing iron. Instead, iron is lost through processes such as bleeding, menstruation, and breast-feeding. Additionally, iron within the body is constantly being recycled and reused.
Normal Ranges for Iron in ug/dL:
Children: 50 to 120
Newborns: 100 to 250
Iron for Females: 26 to 170
Iron for Males: 65 to 198
Iron deficiency is a condition resulting from too little iron in the body. Iron deficiency at critical times of growth and development can result in premature births, low birth weight babies, delayed growth and development, delayed normal infant activity and movement. Iron deficiency can result in poor memory or poor cognitive skills (mental function) and can result in poor performance in school, work, and in military or recreational activities. Lower IQs have been linked to iron deficiency occurring during critical periods of growth.
Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency
A person who is iron deficient may also be anemic and as a result may have one or more symptoms of anemia. These can include, chronic fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, depression, sore tongue, sensitivity to cold (low body temp), shortness of breath doing simple tasks (climbing stairs, walking short distances, doing housework), restless legs syndrome, pica (the desire to chew ice or non-food items,) and loss of interest in work, recreation, relationships, and intimacy.
Causes iron deficiency
Iron deficiency can be the result of numerous and multiple causes. These fall into two broad categories: an increased need for iron and/or decreased intake or absorption of iron.
Most at risk for iron deficiency
Women, children and the elderly are most at risk. African American and Hispanic women and their young children are prone to iron deficiency, possibly because of diet or perhaps different hemoglobin needs. Men are rarely iron deficient; but when they are, it is generally due to blood loss from the digestive tract (sometimes indicating disease), diseases that affect iron absorption, and in some cases, alcohol abuse. Except for those who are strict vegetarians, men rarely have dietary iron deficiency.
Too much iron in vital organs, even in mild cases of iron overload, increases the risk for liver disease (cirrhosis, cancer), heart attack or heart failure, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, numerous symptoms and in some cases premature death. Iron mismanagement resulting in overload can accelerate such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer’s, early-onset Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Iron overload can be inherited (genetic) or acquired by receiving numerous blood transfusions, getting iron shots or injections, or consuming high levels of supplemental iron.
The treatment for iron overload is iron reduction therapy. A person's hemoglobin is key in the physician's decision of iron reduction therapy. If the patient's hemoglobin level is sufficient to tolerate blood removal, the doctor can provide either an order for therapeutic phlebotomies or can recommend that a patient routinely donate blood.
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