We all know how crucial iron is for the growth and development of the body and mind. Iron plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells. Its deficiency can inhibit the supply of oxygen to all organs of the body. Sometimes, we don’t get enough iron from regular food; in such cases, physicians subscribe to take liquid iron supplements along with ferrous-rich foods.
The supplements boost the iron levels faster than the heme and non-heme source of irons. Some physicians also suggest using cast-iron utensils for cooking to elevate iron status naturally. Every year many people fall victim to iron deficiency anemia because of poor diet. It is vital to identify the symptoms of iron deficiency on time and to take appropriate measures.
The iron-deficient person experiences severe fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and headaches. Not just that, the iron deficiency change turns the skin complexion of the victim into yellowish. Upon recognizing such symptoms, you should go for an iron test without a second thought. This piece of article is all about different types of iron tests that are performed to diagnose anaemia.
Types Of Iron Tests
- Serum Iron Tests
Serum Iron Test is performed to evaluate the iron stores in the serum. This test gives the idea of iron content in the blood and helps physicians in medical diagnosis. The serum is nothing but a leftover liquid when blood cells and clotting substances are removed from the blood sample.
This test is very simple and does not cause pain. The doctor or healthcare provider inserts a fine needle into the vein and takes a small amount of blood. Then this blood sample is sent to the lab for testing. Most of the doctors suggest having a Serum iron test in the morning hours because at that time the iron amount is highest.
Results of serum iron tests are considered normal if iron levels fall between 60 and 170 mcg / dL, transferrin saturation falls between 25% to 35%, and TIBC falls between 240 to 450 mcg / dL. However, if iron levels are found very low, healthcare providers recommend liquid iron supplements to the patient.
- Serum Ferritin Tests
This test measures the amount of iron stored inside the body. Simply put, Serum Ferritin tests evaluate the potential of your body to store iron. Ferritin is a kind of blood protein that holds iron content. The optimum level of the Ferritin in the blood is as follows:
- In adult males – 20 to 250 ng/mL
- In adult Females – 0 to 120 ng/mL
- In females over 40 – 12 to 263 ng/mL
If the serum ferritin test shows that your body’s ferritin content is lower than the above figures, you are probably at a higher risk of iron-deficiency anaemia. Low-iron diet, excessive menstruation bleeding, and internal bleeding are the major causes of low ferritin levels.
The total iron-binding capacity test is another procedure to evaluate iron content in the body. Like ferritin, transferrin is also the blood protein. The function of transferrin is to carry iron via blood to the various organs like the liver and spleen. Moreover, this protein is produced by the liver. TIBC testing shows whether or not transferrin is carrying iron properly through the blood.
The TIBC test is conducted by physicians, if you have symptoms of anaemia, such as fatigue, dizziness, and weakness. It is important to note that individuals should not eat anything before 8 hours of the test. The normal-range of TIBC among adults is considered between 250 to 450 mcg/dL. If TIBC is higher than 450 mcg/dL, it means your body does not have sufficient iron content, and you need to take liquid iron supplements.
Unsaturated iron-binding capacity test gauges the portion of transferrin that is not occupied by the iron. It is also used to identify iron-deficiency anemia. The normal range of UIBC is between 111 mcg/dL to 343 mcg/dL.
The Bottom Line
Blood tests help clinicians to test anemia and many other conditions. You will experience a bit of pain around in the area from where blood will be drawn. But, don’t worry, it will be cured in a few days.
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