A white test kit box which is used to collect a blood sample for an iron test

Iron and Ferritin Blood Test

Low iron can leave you feeling weak, tired, and out of breath. It can also cause hair loss. Check your iron levels from home with a quick pinprick test and get results, and advice in 72 hours.

Available from £39.00
About this service

Your body needs iron and ferritin to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen all around your body, so it’s important to get your iron and ferritin levels checked to make sure you’re getting the right amount.

At Superdrug Online Doctor, we offer an iron and ferritin test kit which checks your iron and ferritin levels. When you get your results, our doctors can tell you if you have healthy levels of iron and ferritin in your blood, and if you need any treatment.

Dr Clair Grainger

Medically reviewed by

Dr Clair Grainger

Last reviewed: 14 Nov 2019

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How it Works

About Iron and Ferritin Levels

What is iron and ferritin?

Iron is an element that helps you make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around your body. Iron is also important for healthy muscles, skin, nails, and hair.

Ferritin is a protein that stores and releases iron, and helps to make sure that you have the right levels of iron in your blood. If you have low ferritin levels, it usually means you have low levels of iron as well. Doctors look at both iron levels and ferritin together to check whether you have a healthy amount of iron in your body.

You get most of your iron from food, though you can also get iron supplements to help keep your iron levels healthy if you don’t get enough in your diet.

Foods that are high in iron include:

  • Meat and fish
  • Green veggies, like spinach, broccoli, and kale
  • Legumes, like beans, peas, and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds, like pumpkin seeds, cashews, and almonds

What happens if I have low iron or ferritin levels?

Not having enough iron or ferritin means that your body produces fewer red blood cells, and these red blood cells can’t carry as much oxygen around your body as normal.

This is called ‘iron deficiency anaemia’, which can leave you feeling weak, tired, and out of breath because your tissues and muscles aren’t getting the oxygen they need.

Low levels of iron can also cause hair loss, heart palpitations (a pounding heartbeat), and even heart failure.

What happens if I have high iron levels?

For most people, having high iron levels isn’t a problem - you might just be getting a little too much in your diet, or taking iron supplements when you don’t need to.

If you have really high levels of iron for a long period of time, then you are at risk of a condition called iron overload. This is when iron levels build up in your organs and tissues, most often in the liver and heart.

Iron overload can cause you to feel weak, lose weight, and suffer from joint pain. If your iron levels are high for a long time, it can cause arthritis, liver failure, and heart failure.

Men with iron overload may also become unable to get and maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction), while women may get irregular periods.

How can I get my iron and ferritin levels tested?

You can get your iron and ferritin levels checked with Superdrug Online Doctor. To order your test kit, simply fill in a short questionnaire and place your order. Your kit will be sent to you by post.

Once you have received your kit, follow these steps:

  • Collect a drop of blood from your finger using the lancet (pin-prick device) provided with the kit
  • Place the drop of blood in the collection kit
  • Use the prepaid envelope to post your sample to our partner lab
  • You’ll receive the results of your folate blood test two to three days after the lab receives your kit. A Superdrug doctor will send you advice based on your results.

What to do about your results

When you get your results from our doctors, they’ll also give you some advice on what to do next. If your iron or ferritin levels aren’t in the normal range, then you’ll need to speak to your GP to get more blood tests done. One of these blood tests is called a ‘full blood count’ or ‘FBC’, which will tell you if you have anaemia.

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