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:
  • Metal Toxicity
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Cancer In General
  • Megaloblastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Chronic Inflammation

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:
frequent drowsiness
severe right lumbar pain
tendonitis
cancer in family members
aluminum-based antacid use
severe calorie restriction
moderate unexplained weight loss
heavy treated wood exposure
weak appetite
iron deficiency anemia
significant red blood in stools
macrocytic red cells
... 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
Cancer In General 99% Confirm
Iron Deficiency Anemia 21% Unlikely
Hemochromatosis 18% Unlikely
Metal Toxicity 3% Ruled out
Hemolytic Anemia 3% Ruled out
Megaloblastic Anemia 0% Ruled out
Chronic Inflammation 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.

Megaloblastic Anemia / Pernicious Anemia

Elevated serum iron can occur as a result of pernicious anemia.

... and also rule out issues such as:
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