Blood iron disorders involve either the excess, deficiency or abnormal utilization of iron in the blood. In most cases this affects the blood and tissue oxygenation as the red blood cells are responsible for gas exchange between the blood and environment.
Red blood cells contain an iron-protein (metalloprotein) compound called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin binds to oxygen or carbon dioxide and transports it through the blood, carrying oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs to be expelled in the environment. This process is essential for normal life processes. Red blood cells are constantly destroyed by the body and breakdown products are excreted in the stool. Simultaneously, the body produces new red blood cells on a constant basis to ensure a balance between and loss and new red blood cells.