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High iron level in the blood

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High iron level in the blood

What is high iron level in the blood called?

  • Iron overload

What is the normal iron level in the blood?

If you need to know which are the iron reference ranges or you require more information about the role of iron in the blood you can visit: Normal iron level in the blood

What does a high iron level in the blood mean?

High values of iron a blood test can be a consequence of:

  • High iron intake in diet.
  • Some drugs for other diseases.
  • Liver disorders.
  • Leukemia or other types of cancer.

There is also a genetic disease called hemochromatosis that can increase the iron blood level.

A high value of iron in blood may be toxic to some organs such as the liver or the heart.

Iron values are usually given in µg/dl but sometimes you can see those values in µmol/l following the International System of Units (SI). In case your values are in µmol/l you can convert them using this tool:

µmol/l
  • Moderate iron overload (180 - 300 µg/dL in adults):

    Iron level in the blood is a bit high. The most common cause is an excessive daily intake of iron in diet, perhaps a consequence of fortified foods. If you reduce your iron intake, it is probably that the iron level return to normal range.

    In women, oral contraceptives may increase iron in the blood. Talk to your doctor if you feel nausea or diarrhea.

  • Marked iron overload (300 - 1000 µg/dL in adults) :

    Marked iron overload may be toxic and the excess of iron may be deposited in some organs causing health problems. It can affect to the brain with neurodegenerative disorders, to the liver with hepatic problems or to the heart with the possibility of suffering a heart attack.

    Iron very high level may be a consequence of multiple transfusions or iron supplement intake. You must visit your doctor because it is important to reduce the iron level trying to avoid health complications.

  • Severe iron overload (> 1000 µg/dL in adults):

    Severe iron overload may be a sign of iron poisoning. Iron level in the blood must be reduced as soon as possible to avoid liver disorders.

    Severe iron overload requires urgent medical attention.

Which factors can raise the iron level in the blood?

There are some health circumstances or drugs than can raise your iron level in the blood:

  • Iron poisoning
  • Multiple blood transfusions
  • Drugs
    • Antineoplastics
      • Methotrexate
    • Oral Contraceptives
    • Dextran

Which diseases can raise your iron level in the blood?

There are different diseases why the iron level in the blood can be higher than normal:

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Hemosiderosis
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Hepatitis
  • Saturnism
  • Leukemia
  • Sickle cell disease

What can I do to lower the iron level in the blood?

If your iron level in the blood is too high, you should reduce your iron intake. You can consider the following tips:

  • Reduce your red meat intake (beef, pork)
  • Do not cook with iron pots and pans
  • Reduce your intake of fortified food (such as fortified cereals)
  • Verify that the water that you usually drink does not contain iron
  • It is advisable to drink tea or coffee, vegetables like lettuce and calcium-rich food.

In case your doctor considers it appropriate you can take chelating agents (Deferoxamine, Deferiprone) to reduce iron blood levels.

Where can I find more information about iron level in the blood?

You can visit our pages about:

Which values are considered a high iron level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be above the normal range:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in µg/dL. They are an example of a healthy woman of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Iron
Status
Moderate iron overload
181 µg/dL182 µg/dL183 µg/dL184 µg/dL185 µg/dL186 µg/dL187 µg/dL188 µg/dL
189 µg/dL190 µg/dL191 µg/dL192 µg/dL193 µg/dL194 µg/dL195 µg/dL196 µg/dL
197 µg/dL198 µg/dL199 µg/dL200 µg/dL201 µg/dL202 µg/dL203 µg/dL204 µg/dL
205 µg/dL206 µg/dL207 µg/dL208 µg/dL209 µg/dL210 µg/dL211 µg/dL212 µg/dL
213 µg/dL214 µg/dL215 µg/dL216 µg/dL217 µg/dL218 µg/dL219 µg/dL220 µg/dL
221 µg/dL222 µg/dL223 µg/dL224 µg/dL225 µg/dL226 µg/dL227 µg/dL228 µg/dL
229 µg/dL230 µg/dL231 µg/dL232 µg/dL233 µg/dL234 µg/dL235 µg/dL236 µg/dL
237 µg/dL238 µg/dL239 µg/dL240 µg/dL241 µg/dL242 µg/dL243 µg/dL244 µg/dL
245 µg/dL246 µg/dL247 µg/dL248 µg/dL249 µg/dL250 µg/dL251 µg/dL252 µg/dL
253 µg/dL254 µg/dL255 µg/dL256 µg/dL257 µg/dL258 µg/dL259 µg/dL260 µg/dL
261 µg/dL262 µg/dL263 µg/dL264 µg/dL265 µg/dL266 µg/dL267 µg/dL268 µg/dL
269 µg/dL270 µg/dL271 µg/dL272 µg/dL273 µg/dL274 µg/dL275 µg/dL276 µg/dL
277 µg/dL278 µg/dL279 µg/dL280 µg/dL281 µg/dL282 µg/dL283 µg/dL284 µg/dL
285 µg/dL286 µg/dL287 µg/dL288 µg/dL289 µg/dL290 µg/dL291 µg/dL292 µg/dL
293 µg/dL294 µg/dL295 µg/dL296 µg/dL297 µg/dL298 µg/dL299 µg/dL300 µg/dL
Marked iron overload
301 µg/dL302 µg/dL303 µg/dL304 µg/dL305 µg/dL306 µg/dL307 µg/dL308 µg/dL
309 µg/dL310 µg/dL311 µg/dL312 µg/dL313 µg/dL314 µg/dL315 µg/dL316 µg/dL
317 µg/dL318 µg/dL319 µg/dL320 µg/dL321 µg/dL322 µg/dL323 µg/dL324 µg/dL
325 µg/dL326 µg/dL327 µg/dL328 µg/dL329 µg/dL330 µg/dL331 µg/dL332 µg/dL
333 µg/dL334 µg/dL335 µg/dL336 µg/dL337 µg/dL338 µg/dL339 µg/dL340 µg/dL
341 µg/dL342 µg/dL343 µg/dL344 µg/dL345 µg/dL346 µg/dL347 µg/dL348 µg/dL
349 µg/dL350 µg/dL351 µg/dL352 µg/dL353 µg/dL354 µg/dL355 µg/dL356 µg/dL
357 µg/dL358 µg/dL359 µg/dL360 µg/dL361 µg/dL362 µg/dL363 µg/dL364 µg/dL
365 µg/dL366 µg/dL367 µg/dL368 µg/dL369 µg/dL370 µg/dL371 µg/dL372 µg/dL
373 µg/dL374 µg/dL375 µg/dL376 µg/dL377 µg/dL378 µg/dL379 µg/dL380 µg/dL
381 µg/dL382 µg/dL383 µg/dL384 µg/dL385 µg/dL386 µg/dL387 µg/dL388 µg/dL
389 µg/dL390 µg/dL391 µg/dL392 µg/dL393 µg/dL394 µg/dL395 µg/dL396 µg/dL
397 µg/dL398 µg/dL399 µg/dL400 µg/dL401 µg/dL402 µg/dL403 µg/dL404 µg/dL
405 µg/dL406 µg/dL407 µg/dL408 µg/dL409 µg/dL410 µg/dL411 µg/dL412 µg/dL
413 µg/dL414 µg/dL415 µg/dL416 µg/dL417 µg/dL418 µg/dL419 µg/dL420 µg/dL
421 µg/dL422 µg/dL423 µg/dL424 µg/dL425 µg/dL426 µg/dL427 µg/dL428 µg/dL
429 µg/dL430 µg/dL431 µg/dL432 µg/dL433 µg/dL434 µg/dL435 µg/dL436 µg/dL
437 µg/dL438 µg/dL439 µg/dL440 µg/dL441 µg/dL442 µg/dL443 µg/dL444 µg/dL
445 µg/dL446 µg/dL447 µg/dL448 µg/dL449 µg/dL450 µg/dL451 µg/dL452 µg/dL
453 µg/dL454 µg/dL455 µg/dL456 µg/dL457 µg/dL458 µg/dL459 µg/dL460 µg/dL
461 µg/dL462 µg/dL463 µg/dL464 µg/dL465 µg/dL466 µg/dL467 µg/dL468 µg/dL
469 µg/dL470 µg/dL471 µg/dL472 µg/dL473 µg/dL474 µg/dL475 µg/dL476 µg/dL
477 µg/dL478 µg/dL479 µg/dL480 µg/dL481 µg/dL482 µg/dL483 µg/dL484 µg/dL
485 µg/dL486 µg/dL487 µg/dL488 µg/dL489 µg/dL490 µg/dL491 µg/dL492 µg/dL
493 µg/dL494 µg/dL495 µg/dL496 µg/dL497 µg/dL498 µg/dL499 µg/dL500 µg/dL
501 µg/dL502 µg/dL503 µg/dL504 µg/dL505 µg/dL506 µg/dL507 µg/dL508 µg/dL
509 µg/dL510 µg/dL511 µg/dL512 µg/dL513 µg/dL514 µg/dL515 µg/dL516 µg/dL
517 µg/dL518 µg/dL519 µg/dL520 µg/dL521 µg/dL522 µg/dL523 µg/dL524 µg/dL
525 µg/dL526 µg/dL527 µg/dL528 µg/dL529 µg/dL530 µg/dL531 µg/dL532 µg/dL
533 µg/dL534 µg/dL535 µg/dL536 µg/dL537 µg/dL538 µg/dL539 µg/dL540 µg/dL
541 µg/dL542 µg/dL543 µg/dL544 µg/dL545 µg/dL546 µg/dL547 µg/dL548 µg/dL
549 µg/dL550 µg/dL551 µg/dL552 µg/dL553 µg/dL554 µg/dL555 µg/dL556 µg/dL
557 µg/dL558 µg/dL559 µg/dL560 µg/dL561 µg/dL562 µg/dL563 µg/dL564 µg/dL
565 µg/dL566 µg/dL567 µg/dL568 µg/dL569 µg/dL570 µg/dL571 µg/dL572 µg/dL
573 µg/dL574 µg/dL575 µg/dL576 µg/dL577 µg/dL578 µg/dL579 µg/dL580 µg/dL
581 µg/dL582 µg/dL583 µg/dL584 µg/dL585 µg/dL586 µg/dL587 µg/dL588 µg/dL
589 µg/dL590 µg/dL591 µg/dL592 µg/dL593 µg/dL594 µg/dL595 µg/dL596 µg/dL
597 µg/dL598 µg/dL599 µg/dL600 µg/dL601 µg/dL602 µg/dL603 µg/dL604 µg/dL
605 µg/dL606 µg/dL607 µg/dL608 µg/dL609 µg/dL610 µg/dL611 µg/dL612 µg/dL
613 µg/dL614 µg/dL615 µg/dL616 µg/dL617 µg/dL618 µg/dL619 µg/dL620 µg/dL
621 µg/dL622 µg/dL623 µg/dL624 µg/dL625 µg/dL626 µg/dL627 µg/dL628 µg/dL
629 µg/dL630 µg/dL631 µg/dL632 µg/dL633 µg/dL634 µg/dL635 µg/dL636 µg/dL
637 µg/dL638 µg/dL639 µg/dL640 µg/dL641 µg/dL642 µg/dL643 µg/dL644 µg/dL
645 µg/dL646 µg/dL647 µg/dL648 µg/dL649 µg/dL650 µg/dL651 µg/dL652 µg/dL
653 µg/dL654 µg/dL655 µg/dL656 µg/dL657 µg/dL658 µg/dL659 µg/dL660 µg/dL
661 µg/dL662 µg/dL663 µg/dL664 µg/dL665 µg/dL666 µg/dL667 µg/dL668 µg/dL
669 µg/dL670 µg/dL671 µg/dL672 µg/dL673 µg/dL674 µg/dL675 µg/dL676 µg/dL
677 µg/dL678 µg/dL679 µg/dL680 µg/dL681 µg/dL682 µg/dL683 µg/dL684 µg/dL
685 µg/dL686 µg/dL687 µg/dL688 µg/dL689 µg/dL690 µg/dL691 µg/dL692 µg/dL
693 µg/dL694 µg/dL695 µg/dL696 µg/dL697 µg/dL698 µg/dL699 µg/dL700 µg/dL
701 µg/dL702 µg/dL703 µg/dL704 µg/dL705 µg/dL706 µg/dL707 µg/dL708 µg/dL
709 µg/dL710 µg/dL711 µg/dL712 µg/dL713 µg/dL714 µg/dL715 µg/dL716 µg/dL
717 µg/dL718 µg/dL719 µg/dL720 µg/dL721 µg/dL722 µg/dL723 µg/dL724 µg/dL
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 08/04/2020

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 501.
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 39.
  • Fairbanks VF, Klee GG. Biochemical aspects of hematology. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, eds. Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Company, 1999;1698-1703.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 516. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2

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