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Iron plays a principle role in the synthesis of red blood cells. It is necessary for proliferation of red cells and is required for hemoglobin production. Of the body’s normal 4 grams of iron, approximately 65% resides in red blood cells.
A small amount is also found in muscle and in cellular enzymes throughout the body’s tissues. Any remaining iron is stored mostly in the liver as ferritin.
Low levels of iron are associated with iron deficiency anemia. Anemia is associated with fatigue, low energy and, in some cases, can manifest as muscle aches and headaches. High levels of iron are associated with liver disease, kidney disease and vitamin B6 deficiency.
Iron is transported in the blood as transferrin, a major transport protein. Transferrin carries 60-70% of the body’s iron. The total amount of iron bound to transferrin is referred to as total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). TIBC will help your doctor differentiate between different types of anemia.
TIBC is high in iron deficiency anemia and low/normal with anemia of chronic disease. TIBC is also used to help doctors diagnose iron overload, which is called hemochromatosis.
Iron & Total Iron-Binding Capacity test includes: Percent of saturation, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, and unsaturated iron binding capacity.
A fast of 8 to 12 hours is required for this test. Blood should be drawn in the morning because of the normal daily fluctuations of iron. Take all medications as prescribed. Do not take your supplements the morning of the blood draw.
Iron measurements following blood donations or transfusions should be delayed for one week.
The laboratory services are for informational purposes only. It is not the intention of National Diagnostics, Inc and Life Extension to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health. Specific medical advice including diagnosis and treatment will not be provided. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Both the physician and the testing laboratory are independent contractors with whom National Diagnostics, Inc makes arrangements for your blood tests. Neither National Diagnostics, Inc or Life Extension will be liable for any acts or omissions of the physician, the testing laboratory, or their agents or employees.