If you're planning to give the gift of life this holiday season by donating blood, you need to check your iron. Low iron is one of the top reasons wishful donors are turned away at blood drives. What if you could test your iron simply by wearing a piece of gold jewelry?
There is a common belief that if gold jewelry leaves a dark mark on your skin, it means you have low iron. The theory is that low iron can change your body's pH and if it is acidic, it reacts with a gold alloy. Is that true? Can the gold test accurately detect low iron?
- Dr. Carmen Robinson - family medicine specialist at Novant Health
- Livestrong organization
Dr. Robinson emphasized the gold ring test is neither good nor reliable. The best test for iron deficiency is a blood test and ferritin test. Those can determine if you are iron deficient or anemic.
Iron deficiency, she explained, is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies and affects mostly women. Some symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, a racing heart or chest pain. So, if the gold test cannot detect low iron, what could be causing skin discoloration from jewelry wear?
Livestrong says it could be contact dermatitis -- an allergic reaction that causes discoloration. Sometimes, if your skin is acidic, it can react with copper in gold jewelry. Avoid this by wearing higher-quality or pure gold.
Do not rely on the gold test to check iron. See a doctor, if you have concerns, and get a proper screening.
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