what is anemia?
The iron contents in the body is usually a ratio between the amount of iron ingested and the amount of iron expelled. In the case of a healthy body, there is enough of iron to prevent a deficiency. But in case there is a deficiency of iron in the body, it leads to the condition called anemia. The body cannot produce iron on its own and relies on the food or supplements we consume to produce it. There are certain conditions that could lead to an increased demand for iron in the body, such as:
• Patient pregnant or lactating
• Patient undergoing heavy menstrual bleeding
• Child undergoing a growth spurt
The bone marrow is the chief part of the body that helps create the Red Blood Cells (RBCs). The lifespan for a healthy RBC is between 90 to 120 days. After this period the old RBCs are expelled by certain parts of the body. Erythropoietin is a hormone made by the kidneys that help the bone marrow manufacture RBCs.
Haemoglobin is the chief oxygen-carrying protein located inside the RBCs. It takes care of binding the oxygen in the lungs and releases the oxygen from the blood to various parts of the body as the blood circulates.
In addition to iron, the body needs Vitamin B12 and folic acid to produce RBCs. In case the body does not have enough of these nutrients, it can give rise to anemia.
causes of anaemia
The following are the common reasons for anaemia:
• Cases where the stomach lining becomes altered such as celiac disease
• Poor nutrition
• Certain medication
• Destruction of RBCs, as when there is a problem with the immune system
• Chronic diseases such as ulcerative colitis and leukaemia
• Inherited conditions such as sickle cell anaemia
• Slow or heavy blood loss
• Symptoms of Anaemia
In case of a mild anemia, there may be no visible symptoms. Early onset symptoms may include the following:
• An excessive feeling of fatigue
• Problems with concentration
Following symptoms may be noticed in case of a serious deficiency:
• Eye-whites become blue colored
• Shortness of breath, even with mild exertion
• Nails becoming fragile or excessively soft
• Sore Tongue
• Pica syndrome (desire to eat non-food items)
• Upon performing a physical exam, a practitioner may find a heart murmur,
• low BP or rapid heart rate.
types of anaemia
The following are the common types of anaemia:
• Anaemia can occur due to the deficiency of:
o Vitamin B12
• Chronic disease
• Idiopathic aplastic anaemia - the condition where the bone marrow stops making additional RBCs
• Hemolytic anaemia - the case where RBCs are destroyed and removed from the blood before the end of their normal lifespan
• Megaloblastic anaemia - Results from inhibition of DNA synthesis during RBC production
• Pernicious anaemia - Occurs when the amount of RBCs reduces as the body stops absorbing Vitamin B12
• Sickle cell anaemia - The RBCs become misshapen and become rigid leading to various symptoms
• Thalassemia - the Genetic disorder in which large numbers of RBCs are destroyed
total iron binding capacity explained
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) Test is an iron studies test that measures the amount of essential iron stored in the bloodstream as well as body tissues. This is done by measuring the levels of the following components:
• Ferritin - the chief marker that falls in case of an iron deficiency
• Serum Iron - the component that indicates the iron carried in the blood
• Transferrin - the protein that carries iron in the blood, which is produced in the liver
During the early stages of iron deficiency, there will be a slow depletion of iron stores. In this case, there will be enough RBCs in the blood, but the stores are being exhausted and the body is unable to replace it. In this case, the serum iron level may be normal, but ferritin level will be low.
tibc blood test
The sample for the TIBC blood test is normally drawn from a vein in the arm. It is usually prescribed in the morning hours, or after a fast depending on the practitioner's advice.
All iron testing should occur before the administration of therapeutic iron or prior to blood transfusion, or 4 days after a blood transfusion.
total iron binding capacity normal range
The normal reference range for the TIBC test is 255-450 ug/dl.
when do you need us?
In case you notice that you have one or more of the symptoms of anemia stated above, you will need to contact us for your TIBC test.
The following are the common symptoms of iron overload, which you might need to keep an eye out for:
• Unexplained joint pain or muscle fatigue
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of sex drive or potency
• Loss of fertility or menstrual periods
• Liver disease and/or heart problems
• High TIBC levels in the blood are observed when there is a deficiency of iron.
Tests for iron, ferritin or transferrin saturation may be advised if the practitioner feels that there are symptoms of excess iron. This could also reveal the presence of a condition called hereditary hematochromatosis.
how can we help
Do get in touch with us in case any of the above-mentioned symptoms are noticed. Our executives will do the needful to get you tested and any other help that you may require. They can help to develop a treatment plan that is customised as per your requirement.
Anaemia is a treatable health condition and should not become a major cause of worry. Early identification of symptoms and prompt treatment ensures quick relief.