Iron Lab Test Interactions

Iron's effect on lab tests

Iron has the following effect on lab tests:

  • Serum bilirubin
  • Serum calcium
  • Serum iron
  • Tests for blood in the stools
  • Special radioactive tests on bones

People taking iron supplements may have abnormal (and incorrect) results for any of the above tests, so iron supplements need to be stopped at least 3-4 days prior to any of the lab tests above to ensure test results are correct.

 

People taking iron supplements may have abnormal (and incorrect) results for a number of lab tests. Iron supplements should be stopped 3-4 days prior to these tests

Other interactions with Iron

Iron has an interaction with the following substances:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and tea
  • Dairy foods
  • Grains

Alcohol can increase the absorption and utilisation of iron and this may cause toxicity symptoms which could cause organ damage. People that drink excessive amounts of alcohol for long terms are most at risk and should be cautious with iron supplements, or not use them at all.

Certain foods - coffee, tea, dairy foods and grains - can all decrease iron absorption and utilisation in the body and could possibly cause a deficiency if intake of these foods is really high.

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