Iron Profile

Also known as Iron Profile Blood
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What is this test?

Iron studies are a set of blood tests to estimate the amount of elemental iron, that is carried through the blood and stored in the body tissues. This helps in diagnosing iron deficiency or iron overload.

Test parameters:

  • Serum iron test
  • Total iron-binding capacity test (TIBC)
  • Transferrin saturation test

What is the importance of iron?

Iron is a very important mineral needed by your body to stay healthy. The body requires iron to prepare hemoglobin, the protein present in red blood cells which carries oxygen to various parts of the body. When the body lacks iron, hemoglobin may not be produced sufficiently. This condition is called iron-deficiency anemia. When there are large amounts of iron present in your blood than needed by the body then the condition is called hemochromatosis which is a genetic disorder. Iron binds to a protein called transferrin which is produced by the liver. When the storage of iron in the body runs low, the liver produces more amount of transferrin in order to increase iron in the blood. Iron is also required by muscles, which contain oxygen-binding proteins called myoglobins.

Iron studies include different tests like:

  • Serum iron test- This test is used to measure the levels of iron in the liquid portion of blood.
  • Total iron-binding capacity test (TIBC)- This test measures the amount of iron ready to bind with proteins in the blood.
  • Serum ferritin test- This test is used to evaluate the amount of iron stored in the body.
  • Transferrin saturation test- This test is the percentage of transferrin which is saturated with iron.

Why this test is performed?

This test may be recommended if you experience symptoms like delayed mental development in children, failing to keep up in school, frequent infections, feeling tired and weak, pale skin, headaches, irritability, shortness of breath, swollen tongue, feeling cold, joint aches, stomach pain, tiredness and weakness, weight loss, loss of body hair, loss of sex drive, etc.

Precautions: Some conditions may interfere with your test results like a recent blood transfusion or on iron replacement therapy. Some medicines like antacids (pantoprazole, ranitidine), NSAIDs (paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin), etc, also lead to bleeding in the digestive tract, birth control pills chloramphenicol, fluorides, etc. Foods which are high in iron like meat, eggs, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens, etc, cereals, wheat germ, raisins, whole grain bread, molasses, beans or drinking milk, blood donation or physical activity can also interfere with your results.

Also known as Iron Studies Blood, Iron Studies.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Iron Profile. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Iron Profile.

For this test, you may be instructed to fast for 12 hours without food and drinks prior to the test. Or this test can be done in the early morning without taking any food except water.

Understanding your test results

The normal test results may vary depending on gender, age, health history, et

If you get abnormal test results to consult your doctor immediately.

GenderAge groupsValue
MALEAll age groups65 - 176 microgram/dl
FEMALEAll age groups50 - 170 microgram/dl
MALEAll age groups24 - 336ng/ml
FEMALEAll age groups11 - 307 ng/ml
MALEAll age groups240 - 450 mcg/dl
MALEAll age groups20 - 50%
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