My iron tested too low to give blood last week and I am annoyed. Annoyed enough to call the 24 hr nurse hot line and ask if I should be concerned. When I give blood in the winter I have a hard time testing at the 12.5 and above that they require and they normally need to give me 2 sticks. The usual excuse is that my hands are cold and once I warm them up (with a short burst of calisthenics in the tiny room, which is hysterical, really) I test fine. Thursday I started with 11.7, and managed to raise it to 12.0. Not enough. Suck.
My diet is pretty good. I eat red meat, I eat veggies (steamed and fresh), I eat leafy greens, I drink red wine on occasion (I happened to have 2 glasses the night before). Unfortunately I can't take an iron supplement because I get nauseous. The level of iron that is considered normal for someone my age is between 12.0-16, so I am on the low end of normal. I'm going to have a plate of liver and onions before my next donation and if I still test low I'm making an appointment to get blood work done. I know that the testing method used at the Red Cross is very subjective so I should not be concerned, but it's damned annoying to come in to donate and then have to come back a different night.
Unfortunately my mom has issues with low iron so it's possible that my body is following suit.