Normal Iron Levels

Why Are Normal Iron Levels Important?

Normal iron levels may be something that is the furthest from our minds in our everyday lives.  However, the male body typically only has 4 grams of iron and women only have 3.5 grams.  This iron is used in our tissues, muscles and to help transport plasma throughout our bodies.  When normal iron levels are not maintained we may suffer from different disorders and complications.

When you have too much iron in your body you may be increasing your likelihood of getting heart disease.  It also causes some strain on your muscles and body tissues.  What is important to remember is that the body really cannot get rid of extra iron unless there is some type of blood loss in the body.  When you have extra iron it has to be stored in the body somewhere.  This is usually in the liver or the pancreas and it can result in difficulties like arthritis, cirrhosis or even diabetes.  You will want your doctor to conduct blood work in order to determine if you have normal iron levels in your body to avoid unwanted complications.

Iron can be found in the foods that you eat.  Actually, you are going to get most of the iron that you need from meat that you consume.  If you suffer from an iron deficiency you may be able to get it from blood transfusions, iron bills, or even IV fluids.  Even if you are getting the correct amount of iron from the food that you eat, you need to keep in mind that some of the things we consume can also keep your body from absorbing the iron.  Some of the foods that actually block this absorption are coffee, tea, eggs, or even some types of chocolates.

You may be able to decrease the amount of iron in your body by taking half of an aspirin each day.  However, ff you have too much iron in your body and it needs to actually be removed this can be done in one of two ways.  The first way is through donating blood, which is called phlebotomy, or through chelation therapy.  If you are undergoing chelation therapy you should be aware that there would most likely be side effects.  Some of these include orange colored urine, itching or hives, fever, stomach or leg cramps or even rapid heart beat.  You should also talk to your physician about any concerns or possible symptoms that can result from procedures you are going to undergo.

While it may be difficult to determine if you do not have normal iron levels without having your blood checked, some people may suffer from symptoms.  He or she may be jaundice, feel tired, or have swelling of the legs.  They may also shortness of breath or diabetes.  He or she could also have a loss in their sex drive.  Females may stop having a monthly cycle.  This can be a very large indicator to females that are usually very regular with their period.  Because your body will not function properly, you may also begin to have gallstones.

If you feel that you have too much iron in your body or not enough iron you should talk to your doctor.  Take note of any symptoms that you have been experiencing so that you know what to tell your doctor.  Keep a diary of your food intake.  Your doctor may be able to identify problems with your diet that can be regulated in order to help you improve and feel better.  Discuss the possibility of an iron deficiency or iron overload if you really feel this is a cause of your symptoms.  You may be able to have your answers shortly after blood work is completed.  This is going to automatically show if you have normal iron levels within your body.