Do This With Your Body At Least Once A Year To Test Your Iron Levels

Iron is one of those key minerals that helps transport oxygen to your cells, supports your hormone production, and aids your immune system (per the American Red Cross). Women between 18 and menopause need 18 milligrams of iron each day, while men over 19 and all adults over 51 should aim for 8 milligrams a day (per the National Institutes of Health). If you have certain conditions such as cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, or heart failure, it might be difficult for you to get enough iron. Because iron is essential for forming red blood cells, losing blood through menstruation or blood donations can also make you more susceptible to iron deficiency.

You might not notice if your iron levels are low at first. Your body stores iron in your muscles and bone marrow. Once you deplete these iron stores, your body can't send as much oxygen to your body. You might see this if you get sick more often, have trouble concentrating, or have problems regulating your body temperature. These symptoms can be common with other conditions, but you can check your iron levels each year by testing whether or not you get dizzy when you stand or sit up after lying down.

Feeling dizzy might mean iron-deficiency anemia

According to The Healthy, if you find yourself getting dizzy every time you get up from lying down, that could signal low iron levels in your body. Although dizziness isn't a direct cause of low iron levels, iron deficiency sets off a chain of events, according to GoodRx Health. Because your body needs iron to produce red blood cells, it becomes less capable of carrying oxygen to your body. When you stand up after lying down for a while, this requires sending a lot of oxygen to your brain and heart. The low oxygen levels might also cause your heart rate to increase to help circulate oxygen through your body. This might also cause you to feel dizzy.

While feeling dizzy when you stand up is one test you can do each year to test your iron levels, it's also a good idea to get your iron levels checked by your doctor. According to the American Society of Hematology, a complete blood count (CBC) can test your levels of hemoglobin, mean cellular volume, and iron saturation to see if you have iron-deficiency anemia.

Getting dizzy could also mean low blood pressure

Low iron levels aren't the only reason you might feel dizzy after standing up. If your doctor says your iron levels are sufficient, feeling dizzy after standing up could be due to orthostatic hypotension, which is a form of low blood pressure, according to Houston Methodist. You might also feel faint or weak after standing up.

When your body is lying down for a long time, your blood pressure will drop as you stand up too quickly. Your blood temporarily pools in your legs, causing a feeling of lightheadedness. Being dehydrated can also cause your blood pressure to drop because the lack of water reduces your overall blood volume in your body. You probably know that alcohol dehydrates the body, but it also causes your blood pressure to drop while you're drinking. This might cause you to feel dizzy when you stand up. Medications for chest pain, depression, and erectile dysfunction could also cause orthostatic hypotension. You should also be aware that the stand-up test might make you feel dizzy if you already have conditions such as heart valve disease, endocrine issues, or dementia.