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Transferrin

Also known as Transferrin Blood
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What is this test?

A transferrin blood test is used to measure the amount of transferrin present in your blood. Transferrin helps in maintaining the excess levels of iron by binding to iron and transporting it into the cells. Thus transferrin blood test helps in diagnosing iron deficiency or iron overload. This test is an important lab marker as the body is constantly absorbing iron from foods and sending it into the blood.

What is Transferrin?

Transferrin is a protein made 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 plays a key role in the body by helping red blood cells to carry oxygen to the other cells in your body. Almost all iron in your body is attached to transferrin.

Why this test is performed?

This test may be recommended to you for any of these two reasons:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Iron overload Symptoms of iron deficiency include: 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, etc Symptoms of iron overload include 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.

Test Preparation

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

For this test, you may be asked to fast for 8-12 hours prior to the test or this test can be done in the early morning with empty stomach.

Understanding your test results

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

If your test results are higher than the normal range, it may indicate iron overload which leads to hemochromatosis (a genetic disorder with iron overload).

If your test results are lower than the normal range, it may indicate hemolytic anemia or liver disease or iron-deficiency anemia.

If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your results.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groups170 - 370 mg/dl
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