The iron deficiency test is considered one of the most common deficiencies exams globally and is the most widespread cause of anaemia. If you experience it, you can counteract it with a targeted change in your diet or with the help of supplements.

It plays an important role in blood formation and the transport of oxygen in the blood. If there is insufficient in the body, you may experience the so-called iron deficiency anaemia.

This article will teach you how to get the profile tests you need from your vegetarian or vegan diet. For iron profile testing, you will also learn about the causes of deficiency. And how it manifests itself and is determined, the usefulness of food supplements and why you should not take iron based on a simple suspicion.

Where is it to be found?

It is part of the group of essential trace minerals. And the body itself cannot produce essential trace minerals. But we must absorb them through nutrition.

The human body contains an average of four/five grams of iron, and it is present in different forms. Also, twenty-five per cent comprises iron storage, such as ferritin, which the body uses, among other things, to store iron in the liver and bone marrow. Three per cent is contained in the transport protein transferrin, used to transport iron through the blood. Moreover, much of the body is bound to the red blood pigment haemoglobin. 

What is it used for?

Every cell in our body requires iron. It helps transport oxygen and form blood in the body. Without it, less haemoglobin would be produced. Also, haemoglobin carries inhaled oxygen from the lungs to the entire body. Cells need oxygen to carry out their metabolic processes, which is how energy is provided. However, the trace element also transports carbon dioxide into the lungs and oxygen into muscle cells. 

It also strengthens the skin, hair and nails and is involved in the immune system and the smooth progress of pregnancy.

Common Symptoms

Deficiency is one of the most common issues in the world. According to the Ministry of Health, one-third of the Italian population has low reserves. Moreover, deficiency can lead to anaemia. This anaemia is normally accompanied by distinct symptoms such as paleness, weakness, and hair loss. The elderly, pregnant women, vegans and vegetarians, as well as people with gastrointestinal problems, are risk groups. 

What is the requirement?

The amount you need depends on your gender and age. Therefore, men should consume ten milligrams per day, and women should consume 15 milligrams. And women have a greater need due to menstruation, as they also lose it with the blood.

Pregnant women need 30 milligrams, and breastfeeding women need 20 milligrams daily. Starting from menopause, women reduce their needs. 

The US National Institute of Health offers similar recommendations, advising vegetarians to multiply the recommended daily intake by 1.8 

Risk groups: Who is at high-risk results?

However, some people are susceptible to deficiency 5,9 for various reasons, such as 10–12. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women need it more: blood is necessary for the baby to be born, and then for breast milk. Also, older adults, in some cases, may suffer from a lack of appetite and chewing problems, thus causing a lack of nutrients;

Vegetarians and vegans do not consume foods of animal origin, which the body can absorb very well. And people who suffer from chronic gastrointestinal disorders often do not absorb it appropriately;

Professional athletes have a higher requirement and often follow a low-iron diet.

If you belong to one of the risk groups, it would be best to check your daily supply with an iron test. And you should not take any iron supplements before a laboratory test. Otherwise, you can run the risk of excess and hemochromatosis.


If you do not have enough in your body, the trace element may no longer perform its important function: supplying oxygen to cells. Also, cells that do not receive enough oxygen produce less energy and are limited in function.

If the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, concentration problems and fatigue can occur. Other symptoms of a deficiency are:

  • Hair loss,
  • Brittle nails, 
  • Chapped corners of the mouth;
  • Weakness, 
  • Reduced performance, 
  • Headache;
  • Iron deficiency anaemia.   

Hair loss

A possible consequence of a deficiency test is hair loss. It plays a vital role in blood formation; hair needs a lot of blood. But if the body’s blood supply isn’t working properly, it will reduce blood flow to places it isn’t needed for survival, including the hair. But if the hair does not receive enough blood, it begins to fall out. 

Scientific results

The good news is that you can prevent hair loss by taking the correct supplement. Aa 2002 study showed that participants increased their levels (ferritin level) from 33 to 89 milligrams per litre over an average of six months. However, at the same time, their hair loss was reduced by 39 per cent.   

Possible causes are blood loss, a low diet, and an increased need, for example, during pregnancy or in competitive sports.

Iron deficiency in anaemia is the most common cause of anaemia. It is responsible for about 50 per cent of anaemia cases. For this reason, blood can only transport oxygen through the body to a limited extent.