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Iron is a very vital component of your red blood cells and if you have low iron levels, it can lead to a mess of illnesses. Especially for women and people with certain conditions, getting and maintaining enough iron in your bodies is highly essential.
One way to ensure that you don’t lack iron is to regularly measure your iron levels. Now, this can be rather costly and time-consuming. I mean, who wants to leave work or whatever else you have planned to sit in a doctor’s office or a lab for hours?
This is why we now have at-home iron test kits, so you can easily assess your risk of iron deficiency anemia and other conditions. According to the CDC, the number of visits to emergency departments with anemia as the primary diagnosis is 890,000.
In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of doing an iron test at home.
Can I Do an At-Home Iron Test?
Yes, you most definitely can do an at-home iron test. Currently, you can find several reputable brands to buy these tests from. The iron test measures a number of components within the blood to determine if you are affected by any iron abnormalities or if your levels are within normal ranges.
It’s true that some tests are quite complex, and therefore must be conducted by a trained and certified medical professional. However, there are those, some of which use simple samples, that you can certainly do for yourself or a loved one at home.
Here are some of the biomarkers that an iron test measures at home
- Iron – Iron is measured in the body by examining iron levels that are attached to the protein transferrin. It is an essential mineral necessary for the transport of oxygen via red blood cells and as such, it is vital to survival.
- Transferrin Saturation – This component is made in the liver and is responsible for being the primary transportation of proteins around your body.
- Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC) – Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC) is the compound measurement of all the proteins that are available for transporting iron throughout the body.
- Ferritin – This component is responsible for storing iron within the body. By testing Ferritin levels, you can determine your body’s iron storage capacity.
If you’re feeling under the weather, or even just slightly different than normal, that’s reason enough to get your iron levels checked. Plus, with at-home iron testing so widely available, not being able to visit the doctor’s office is no longer an issue.
At-home iron testing kits can help detect conditions that affect a wide range of health indicators, and you should get your iron levels tested if:
- You are suffering from an iron deficiency
- You are suffering from hemochromatosis
- You are vegetarian
- You frequently donate blood
- You are suffering from fatigue, low energy, or low mood
- You have a family history of hemochromatosis
- You are from Northern Europe, you are more likely to suffer from hemochromatosis
Additionally, look out for these symptoms:
- Constant exhaustion
- Dizziness / Loss of balance
- Chronic headaches
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of breath
- Aching legs
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain
Some people may be apprehensive to try at-home iron testing kits because they worry about the complexity of the test and whether they will need physician support to understand their test results.
However, the best at-home testing kits are easy-to-use and come with step-by-step instructions on how to collect the sample, package it, and send it off to a certified lab for testing.
How Can I Do an At-Home Iron Test?
The process for doing most at-home tests is typically the same.
At-home iron tests use blood samples and it’s one of the primary factors that determine how you complete your at-home iron testing.
Each company provides its customers with specific instructions for using their iron test kit at home. This general procedure can give you a better sense of what is required to do to your at-home test.
- The first step is to find a reputable brand to purchase your test kit. Most kits arrive a day or two after you’ve placed your order. The package should include both your kit and a set of detailed instructions.
- Next, read the instructions all the way through until you fully understand what is expected of you. Do not attempt to collect your sample until you understand the instructions fully. Otherwise, you may receive inaccurate results.The instructions will inform you of any additional preparation required to take your test if you have not yet been made aware of any additional actions or precautions you must take.
If a test requires you to miss a day of medication, it is imperative that you first consult your primary care provider to determine if this test is right for you.
- Now it’s time to collect your sample to send off. This step is very crucial, as any mistakes can spoil your results or cause an error that yields inaccurate test results.
Blood samples are typically collected via the finger prick method. Your kit should provide the necessary equipment to collect your sample.
- Once you have properly collected your blood sample, it’s now time to package and send it to a certified lab for testing. Most companies include pre-paid shipping both ways along with a shipping envelope.
- At this point, you wait a few days (5-7) then collect your results online. Depending on the results of your test, you may choose to seek additional medical advice.
- Lets Get Checked: this kit tests for iron, Total Iron-Binding Capacity(TIBC), ferritin, and transferrin saturation, to determine how iron production works in a person’s body. People who use this test can receive their test results within 5 days after they have taken their blood samples and sent it back to the company, through the LetsGetChecked website or app.
- Cerascreen: this kit tests for ferritin levels. This test measures how well a person’s body stores iron, and also shows if a person suffers from iron deficiency. This kit is best for certain people, and the company has provided a list of those who can and cannot use their iron testing kit.
- Lab.me: provides an advanced ferritin test that measures how well the body stores iron. The results of which show if a person has an iron deficiency or iron overload. People can receive the result within 2 days after sending their blood samples in a prepaid envelope. The results of the test sent online come along with personalized reports, test recommendations, and lifestyle advice.
LetsGetChecked at-home iron testing product can be used to test for iron, Total Iron-Binding Capacity(TIBC), ferritin, and transferrin saturation, to determine how iron production works in a person’s body. People who use this test can receive their test results within 5 days after they have taken their blood samples and sent it back to the company, through the LetsGetChecked website or app.
The person taking the test should collect their blood sample using the prick method in the morning before they have breakfast. The sample is then sent using the shipping prepaid label provided.
- The company offers a comprehensive blood test for iron deficiency.
- The test can be done at home without having to visit the doctor or laboratory.
- The company has board-certified professionals to work at different stages of testing and giving results.
- The results of your test sent by the company are clear and easy to understand.
- The company assures you of the security and confidentiality of your information.
- The customer care services are available 24/7.
- LetsGetChecked laboratories are CLIA-approved and CAP-accredited. People taking the test should be well assured of getting accurate results.
LetsGetChecked iron test costs $99. You can get a discount, by subscribing to receive the iron test every three months, six months, and twelve months. Also, FSA & HSA cards are accepted.
This at-home iron test kit is suitable for anyone that shows symptoms of iron deficiency, anemia and iron overload, hemochromatosis.
Also, people with a kind of lifestyle or history prone to iron problems, such as vegetarians, blood donors, who have a family history of diabetes or any blood issues should also take the test.
The Cerascreen company provides a kit that is used by people to determine their ferritin levels. This test measures how well a person’s body stores iron, and also shows if a person suffers from iron deficiency. This kit is best for certain people, and the company has provided a list of those who can and cannot use their iron testing kit.
People with infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, people with hemophilia, and children under 18 years of age should not take the test. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women should do the test under medical supervision.
- The company offers fast and free delivery to get the product and to return the sample.
- The result of the test taken is clear and simple to understand.
- Delivery takes 4-6 days and results are sent quickly and clearly via app or email after your blood sample has been tested.
- Same-day delivery is possible if a person orders before 2 p.m.
- The company offers actionable, personal recommendations to prevent iron deficiency.
- They offer a 30-day refund policy.
The Cerascreen iron test kit costs $69. Additionally, you can get a 30-day refund.
This at-home iron test should be taken by elderly people, athletes, vegetarians, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Plus, you will receive free shipping on every order and a $5 voucher if you sign up for their newsletter.
The Lab.Me iron test product provides an advanced ferritin test that measures how well the body stores iron using a finger-prick method. The results of which show if a person has an iron deficiency or iron overload. People can receive the result of the test taken at home within 2 days after they send their blood samples to the specified lab in a prepaid envelope.
The results of the test sent online come along with personalized reports, test recommendations, and lifestyle advice. The company made a video to make it easier for buyers to take their blood samples.
- The company sends test results online along with personalized reports, test recommendations, and lifestyle advice.
- The test result is received 48 hours after the blood sample is sent.
- The company uses advanced technology for accurate and on-time testing.
- Tests are done in CAP-accredited laboratories to process the blood samples.
- You can sign up for a subscription to get a percentage off the price.
The Lab.Me iron test kit costs $59 for a one-time purchase. Monthly subscribers of the product get 10% off the original price and free shipping on every order.
This at-home blood test should be done by people who suffer from iron deficiency, anemia, and iron overload.
Are At-Home Women’s Health Tests Accurate?
Yes, at-home iron tests can be very accurate; notwithstanding, that their accuracy is widely dependent on several factors, including the brand.
To ensure that they are compliant with the high regulatory standards, many manufacturers subject their products to rigorous testing and work with CLIA-certified laboratories to ensure accurate results.
At-home test results can be as accurate as traditional lab tests.
Affordability, accuracy, and convenience are just a few of the benefits associated with using at-home iron test kits. There are numerous health and wellness benefits that you can also derive from their use, and as such, you are encouraged to keep abreast of your iron levels from the comfort of your home.
These at-home tests can help you determine if your iron levels are contributing to symptoms of illness. They can also help indicate when you need to visit the doctor to help you regulate your iron levels or catch conditions in their early stages.