Your Serum Iron Level

What Causes Abnormal Serum Iron Levels?

Abnormal serum iron levels can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnose your symptoms now!
  • understand what's happening to your body
  • check your overall health status
  • identify any nutritional deficiencies

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose abnormal serum iron levels, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "abnormal serum iron levels" as a symptom.  Here are seven possibilities:
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Metal Toxicity
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Megaloblastic Anemia
  • Cancer In General

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
macrocytic red cells
moderate alcohol consumption
minimal body hair
enlarged liver
highly elevated basophil count
poor cold weather tolerance
serious problem with cysts
pernicious anemia
hemolytic anemia
recent breastfeeding
elevated TIBC
iron deficiency anemia
... and more than 40 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal serum iron levels:
Cause Probability Status
Iron Deficiency Anemia 91% Confirm
Megaloblastic Anemia 30% Unlikely
Chronic Inflammation 22% Unlikely
Metal Toxicity 0% Ruled out
Cancer In General 0% Ruled out
Hemolytic Anemia 0% Ruled out
Hemochromatosis 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Iron, serum. Unit: ug/dL [umol/L]
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Under 20 [3.6] (very low)
→ 20-59 [3.6-10.6] (low)
→ 60-175 [10.7-31.3] (normal)
→ Over 175 [31.3] (high)
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate very low serum iron, low serum iron, normal serum iron or high serum iron, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Heavy Metal Toxicity

Elevated serum iron can occur in cases of lead poisoning.

... and also rule out issues such as:
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