transferrin test

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transferrin test

To understand what is transferrin test it is important to know what is transferrin and the basis behind the test. Transferrin refers to the blood plasma glycoproteins that carry iron through your blood to the liver spleen and bone marrow. The levels of human transferrin can help in determining the causes of medical conditions like anaemia or even the iron-carrying capacity of the blood.

what is a transferrin test?

A transferrin test is carried out to directly measure the level of iron in the blood and also the body’s ability to transport iron in the blood. The transferrin blood test is ordered if the doctor suspects abnormalities of iron levels in your body. The tests help diagnose chronic iron overload or deficiency. It is a simple blood routine wherein the technician draws the sample from a vein in your arm and sends it to the lab for further analysis.

understanding the transferrin test results

For understanding the transferrin lab test results, you should know what does high and low transferrin levels mean. When there is an excess of the protein, it indicates you may be suffering from iron deficiency. High transferrin means the liver is producing more of the protein to use all the iron available in the body. Low transferrin level means the body is absorbing more iron then needed.

The results of a typical transferrin test are reported in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). The transferrin normal range is between 300 to 360 mcg/dl.


Other than the transferrin measurement there is another parameter used called the transferrin saturation that checks for the percentage of the protein that is saturated with the iron. Normally in a healthy individual one-third of the protein is saturated with iron. The transferrin saturation test can be an important diagnostic tool to see if there are any deviations in the iron levels of the body. It is also considered to be an excellent indicator of the amount of iron depletion in our body.

what are the symptoms of abnormal transferrin levels?

An elevated transferrin saturation would mean you have too much iron in the body. The cause for this could be attributed to the excessive intake of iron supplements or multivitamins. An increase in involves body absorbing too much of iron. Some of the visible high transferrin saturation symptoms include;


1. Constant feeling of fatigue, weakness and loss of energy.

2. Weight Loss and pain in the joints

3. Abdominal Pain

4. Elevated Blood Sugar Levels

5. Loss of libido and reduction in the size of testicles

If the symptoms are not treated timely, the high transferrin saturation can result in conditions like diabetes, arthritis and enlargement of liver etc.

The low transferrin causes or iron deficiencies could be due to

1. Insufficiency of iron in your diet

2. Inadequate amounts of iron are being absorbed in the stomach

3. Low transferrin levels could also be caused during pregnancy when the body experiences an increased need for iron than normal.

when do you need us?

Diagnosing abnormalities in iron levels in the body can be tough since the symptoms overlap with symptoms of other medical conditions. But if you notice any iron deficiency or overload symptoms, it is time to get tested. We at Portea offer host of diagnostic tests that could help detect any abnormalities of iron in the body.

how can we help?

We have the best team of lab technicians and doctors who continuously strive to provide accurate results. You can have doorstep collection of samples and reports are also sent to your email. Booking your lab test is also quite easy as you can get it done via call, email or online.


The test of blood transferrin levels form an important diagnostic tool as they help in diagnosing various medical conditions like anaemia and also how efficient is the body’s iron carrying capacity.