ZocdocAnswersWhy is my iron level so low?

Question

Why is my iron level so low?

I've been trying to donate plasma but they keep denying me because my iron levels in my blood are too low. I've tried eating foods high in iron and taking supplements but it hasn't helped. Why is my iron level so low?

Answer

Low iron is a very common problem, especially among women. Women, obviously, have a reason to have less iron than men, because (usually) once a month they are losing a relatively significant amount of blood during menstruation. One of the most important things that the body uses iron for it to make hemoglobin, which is the part of the blood that carries the oxygen. With too little iron, the body has difficulty delivering the oxygen to where it is needed, and people can have fast heart rates and feel fatigued more easily. That is why you need iron. Low iron is something that you should talk to your doctor about, because it is not necessarily normal. Your iron could be low due to menstruation, but this is normally able to be corrected with iron supplementation. If your levels remain low despite this step, you will need to speak with your doctor in more detail about the cause. He or she will ask questions about how long your period is (if you are a girl), what your diet is, and what other potential causes could be. He or she will likely order some blood work as well. Please speak with your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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