Some words in medical language can be confusing and unknown, without a doubt the word sideremia is part of them. Find out below its meaning and how important it is for the health of the human body.
Most people have never heard the word sideremia until their doctor mentions it. Do you know what sideremia is? It is the concentration of serum iron present in the blood serum that is measured through a blood test in order to rule out or diagnose different pathologies. The values of sideremia are usually higher in men than in women and are commonly associated with hematological diseases such as anemia.
In the presence of a blood test with abnormal serum iron values, it is important to see a doctor to find out the cause of this disorder. To find out in detail what sideremia is and what the normal values are, we invite you to continue reading this eHealth article.
Sideraemia and normal values
When a clot that has formed in the bloodstream is removed, a yellowish substance is created that we know as blood serum. Serum has the same composition as plasma, only it lacks fibrogens, the proteins responsible for fluid clotting. Sideremia is the amount of serum iron concentrated in the blood serum.
The sideremia values can be known through a blood test that, in general, is processed the same day and the results can be obtained in a few hours. As we mentioned earlier, the values may vary depending on the age, gender and health status of each person. Normal serum iron levels in blood serum range between 50 and 150 mg / dl.
When the serum iron concentration is less than 30 mg / dl, the person is considered to have a deficiency of this substance, which is known as hyposideremia. On the contrary, when there is a lot of serum iron concentrated in the yellowish fluid, we speak of hypersideremia, a condition that is diagnosed when the values exceed 150 mg / dl.
Low sideraemia: causes, symptoms and treatment
Serum iron deficiency in the blood serum can affect the correct oxygenation of the tissues. This condition can cause alterations in the functioning of the human body that usually manifest themselves through various symptoms, which will be more or less intense depending on the degree of hyposideremia. The most common symptoms of this condition are:
- Tiredness and weakness, especially after some kind of physical effort.
- Dizziness and headache
- Irritability, mood swings, and depression.
- The skin looks paler.
- Difficult to focus.
- Alterations in heart rate that may be accompanied by palpitations and shortness of breath.
- Chapped lips
- Brittle nails
- Craving for ice or dirt due to malacia disorder.
Hyposideremia, although it represents the deficiency of serum iron in the human body, can be caused by diseases or disorders that prevent the correct absorption of iron in the body. Hyposideremia is associated with the following conditions:
- Heavy bleeding during menstruation: when the body loses large amounts of blood, it is not able to quickly replace the concentration of red blood cells and iron in the blood, therefore the concentration of this mineral in the fluid decreases.
- Unbalanced diet: to have optimal iron levels in the body it is vital to eat a diet rich in this substance. Celiac or vegetarian people can present hyposideremia due to their type of diet.
- Pregnancy: during the gestation period, the woman’s body usually needs greater amounts of iron for the correct formation of the embryo.
- Internal bleeding: any excessive loss of blood, especially in the gastrointestinal system, complicates the correct absorption of iron in the human body, which leads to hyposideremia.
- Consumption of some drugs: some medicines such as antibiotics, cholestyramine, antacids with calcium and colchicine can affect the absorption of iron.
- Other causes of hyposideremia: Crohn’s disease , celiac disease , advanced neoplasia, bariatric weight loss surgery.
Treatment of low serum iron levels
Low sideremia is not a disease, it is a condition derived from other conditions that are altering the functioning of the body. For this reason, the main thing is to go to the doctor to receive a diagnosis and to know what is causing the iron deficiency. Therefore, the treatment of hyposideremia will depend on its cause.
In general, people with low levels of iron in the blood should maintain a diet based on foods rich in this mineral and take iron supplements, even if it is a pregnant woman. When the body has problems absorbing iron, it may be necessary to consume vitamin B12 and, in very critical cases, carry out transfusions. Hyposideremia due to medications is usually treated by stopping use of the drug. Once the iron levels return to normal, the symptoms disappear.
High sideraemia: causes, symptoms and treatment
Like hyposideremia, hypersideremia is caused by other conditions that alter the serum iron concentration in the blood. This condition is mostly associated with hematological diseases, let’s see its main causes:
- Hemolytic anemia: It is the type of anemia that occurs when the body does not have enough healthy blood cells because they are destroyed before, or normal. This disease usually occurs because the bone marrow does not work properly and is unable to replace destroyed blood cells in time.
- Pernicious anemia: when the intestines cannot absorb vitamin B12, a significant decrease in red blood cells occurs in the body, resulting in hypersideremia. Autoimmune diseases and gastrointestinal complications are the main causes of pernicious anemia.
- Thalassemia: it is an inherited hematological disorder that causes an abnormal production of hemoglobin that destroys red blood cells and leads to hemolytic anemia.
- Jaundice : jaundice is not a disease, it is the yellowish color that the skin takes on due to diseases related to liver malfunction. Many people with jaundice also have elevated serum iron levels in their blood. Jaundice is caused by a sudden increase in bilirubin in the body.
- Hemochromatosis: This is a genetic disorder that stimulates the excessive absorption of iron and stores it in the liver or pancreas. Some types of anemia, thalassemias, and alcohol use can cause hemochromatosis.
The symptoms of hypersideremia can vary depending on the cause, but the condition usually manifests itself as follows:
- Dark colored skin.
- Fatigue, tiredness, weakness, and lack of energy.
- Joint pain
- Decreased sexual desire
- Loss of body hair.
- Some people do not have any symptoms.
Treatment for elevated serum iron levels
Treatment will depend exclusively on the diagnosis. In general, the person is recommended to avoid the consumption of red meat and other foods rich in iron . A person with hypersideraemia may need to undergo red blood cell transfusions and several blood draws to level the iron level. However, a series of tests will first need to be performed to check the health of the bone marrow, gastrointestinal system, and liver.
Any alteration in the iron levels in the blood should be attended to by a medical specialist immediately. Taking care of these conditions in time is vital to preserve the health of the body, therefore, if you have symptoms of hypersideremia or hyposideremia, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.