Complete Blood Count and Serum Ferritin

Iron is used in the body to transport oxygen in the blood. This is why when you do not have enough iron you can feel tired and run down. The only way to know if you need more iron is through blood tests. These tests can include a CBC (complete blood count) and a serum ferritin. The CBC will tell you if you are anemic (iron or B12/folic acid deficient) by looking at the size of the red blood cells. If your red blood cells are small you need to supplement with iron. Serum ferritin will tell you what your iron stores are.

Iron deficiency can be caused by:

  • Increased Physiologic Demands—for instance, periods of rapid growth in infants and children and during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Inadequate Intake-from an iron deficient diet (often the case with vegetarians and vegans) or from inadequate absorption.
    Chronic Blood Loss—menstrual flow, gastrointestinal bleeding, regular blood donation, chronic hemolysis.
  • Oftentimes, due to the gradual onset of iron deficiency anemia, the body’s compensatory mechanisms will minimize the symptoms. Thus, the anemia may be moderate or severe before the patient seeks treatment.

A New Leaf’s Dynacare Laboratories (link: CBC and Serum Ferritin Lab is a basic blood test that will provide our doctors with iron level counts. The patient and the doctor will the work together to design a healthcare protocol that will address any deficiencies. The doctors recommend to all their patients not to take an iron supplement unless they have had their blood checked first as it is NOT a supplement everyone should be taking .