serum iron test

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what is iron?

Iron is a mineral vital to the body. Its main role is to carry oxygen in the haemoglobin of the Red Blood Cells or RBCs.  This is necessary for cells to produce energy. Iron is also instrumental in removing carbon dioxide from the body. 

iron deficiency anemia

If your body does not contain enough iron and the red blood cells cannot carry oxygen efficiently, it is known as Iron deficiency anemia. 

iron deficiency causes/ iron deficiency anemia causes

Iron deficiency anemia is a very common type of anemia. The most common causes are:

  • Your body cannot produce enough iron
  • You are not consuming enough iron
  • Your body is losing too much iron
  • Your body can’t produce enough haemoglobin

Iron deficiency causes include:

  • Blood Loss
  • A lack of iron in your diet
  • An inability to absorb iron
  • Pregnancy

iron deficiency symptoms

You may feel low, fatigue, some weakness or may experience difficulty maintaining body temperature. Other iron deficiency symptoms can include:

  • Pale skin and fingernails
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Inflamed tongue or Glossitis

who is at risk for iron deficiency anemia?

  • Women: Menstruating women may lose a lot of blood putting them at risk.
  • Infants and children: Premature children and children who do not get enough iron from the breastmilk or their diet
  • Vegetarians: Non-meat eaters can develop iron defiency anemia if they do not eat other foods rich in iron.
  • Frequent blood donors

serum iron test

What is iron test?

An iron profile test is performed to check the level of iron in your blood. 

Iron deficiency test

An iron test is referred to as iron deficiency test when you or your doctor suspect that you may be suffering from an iron deficiency. 

Iron profile test

An iron profile test is part of the regular routine check-up that lets you know your iron and haemoglobin levels.  

Why should you get the Iron blood test done?

To diagnose iron deficiency anemia, iron overload and current level of iron in the blood.

When should you get the Iron blood test done?

If you have low haemoglobin or hematocrit on a complete blood count you may suffer from a iron deficiency or an iron overload. To make an exact diagnosis, your doctor will recommend you get the iron  profile test. 

What sample is required for the Iron blood test?

A sample of your blood is required from your vein. 

How to prepare for the test?

You may be required to fast for 12 hours and/or your blood may be drawn in the morning. 

what is being tested in the iron test?

  • Serum iron test: This measures the level of iron in the liquid portion of your blood. 
  • Transferrin test: This measures the level of transferrin in your blood.
  • TIBC( Total iron binding capacity):  This measures the total amount of iron that can be bound to protein. 
  • UIBC( unsaturated iron-binding capacity): This determines the reserve capacity of tranferrin. 
  • Transferrin saturation: Reflects the percentage of transferring saturated with iron
  • Serrum ferritin: How much iron is stored in your body 

iron normal range

The iron normal range is 13.5 to 17.5 g/dL of blood for men and 12.0 to 15.5 g/dL for women. The iron normal range varies for children depending on their gender and age. These reference values may differ from lab to lab. 

iron treatment


  • Choose iron-rich foods: Foods rich in iron include red meat, pork and poultry, seafood, beans, among others. 
  • Choose Vitamin C rich food to enhance iron absorption
  • Iron-fortifed milk

iron deficiency anemia treatment

Once the diagnosis is made, the doctor will suggest you take iron supplements to counteract the diagnosis. Taking the iron supplements should bring your iron levels in blood back to normal.  

at home iron test

You can take an at home iron test with the help of Portea. Get your reports delivered and also find out what the best course of treatment. At Portea, we believe in delivering expert medical care and advice to your home. Give us a call and find out more.