Iron Test: Why is It Important to Check Your Iron Levels?
July 15th, 20225 mins read
An iron test helps you check iron levels in your body since iron cannot be produced in your body. If your body contains low or high iron levels, it can affect your health. Read to know more.
There are different types of iron tests to determine iron levels
Low iron levels in body can cause a condition known as anemia
High iron levels in your body result in fatigue and tiredness
An iron test helps determine the amount of iron present in your body. While low iron levels can affect your health, high iron levels too can cause health complications. You’ll have to undergo an iron test to know if your body contains adequate iron levels. Iron is an essential mineral that helps in producing red blood cells. It is also a vital component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to different parts of your body.With the help of an iron test, you can assess if your body has high iron levels or low iron levels. Fluctuations in your iron levels cause varying symptoms. For instance, high iron levels may show the following signs.
Tiredness in the body
Pain in the joints
If you have low iron levels, you may experience the following.
Rapid beating of the heart
Skin turning pale
If the result of your iron test shows an iron deficiency in your body, you may have to take iron supplements. In some cases, deficiency can result in a condition called anemia. Reports state that around 30-50% of children suffer from anemia all over the world. As per the global database, around 2 billion people experience anemia due to low iron levels .Another report concludes that there is a higher prevalence of iron deficiency in developing countries . You can combat iron deficiency with proper intake of foods rich in iron and supplements prescribed by your doctor. Getting an iron test helps you assess your iron levels regularly. To know more about the types of iron tests, procedures and results, read on.Additional Read:What is Iron Deficiency Anemia: Causes, Symptoms, and Test
Iron test: Types
There are different iron tests to check iron levels in your body. By undergoing various kinds of iron tests, it is easy to determine the amount of iron being transported and stored in your body. Note that your body is unable to synthesize the iron mineral. Hence, iron required for your body must come either from foods or supplements. These iron tests help evaluate the status of iron levels in your body.A serum iron test helps determine the total quantity of iron present in your blood. There is another iron test called the transferrin test. Transferrin is a protein present in your body, which helps in the transportation of iron throughout the body. With the help of the transferrin test, you can measure the amount of transferrin protein. Another iron test called the total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) test indicates how well the iron mineral attaches itself to transferrin and other proteins in your body.To know if adequate iron levels have been stored in your tissues, you may undergo a ferritin blood test. In case of low iron levels, your body utilizes the stored iron. This way, you can assess if you are iron deficient via an iron test. In addition, there is another test to check the quantity of transferrin that is not bound to iron. This iron test is called UIBC or unsaturated iron-binding capacity test.Additional Read: Total Iron Binding Capacity Test: 5 Important Things to Know
Iron test: Purpose
Your doctor may advise you to undergo an iron test to diagnose the following:
Symptoms of anemia due to low iron levels
Various kinds of anemia
Hemochromatosis due to buildup of high iron levels
Whether treatments for high and low iron levels are effective
You may have to undergo an iron test if you complain of the following symptoms due to high or low iron levels:
Low energy levels
Joint and abdominal pain
Unexplained loss of weight
The pale coloration of the skin
Before you undergo the iron test, follow your doctor’s instructions. You may need to fast for approximately 12 hours. Your doctor normally advises you to take a test in the first half of the day as your blood contains high iron levels during this time.
Iron test: Inference
An iron test is measured in mcg/dL units, where mcg indicates micrograms of iron per deciliter of blood. If the iron level in your blood ranges between 60 and 170mcg/dL, it is considered normal.If the TIBC test results range from 240mcg/dL to 450mcg/dL, this indicates that a sufficient amount of iron binds to the transferrin protein. The transferrin saturation percentage of 25-35% determines adequate levels of iron in your body. This percentage of transferrin helps your doctor understand if you have low or high levels of iron in the body.If your iron levels are abnormally high, it may indicate the following conditions:
Excessive intake of iron supplements
Liver ailments such as hepatitis
Lack of red blood cells or hemolytic anemia
Excess deposition of iron in the body
On the other hand, low iron levels indicate the following conditions:
Heavy bleeding during menstruation
The inability of the body to absorb iron
Poor intake of foods rich in iron
Blood loss due to gastrointestinal ailments
All in all, an iron test helps you keep your iron levels in control. Be it deficiency of iron or the presence of excess iron in your body, undergoing an iron test regularly keeps health ailments at bay. Make sure you check your iron levels and other vital nutrients regularly via iron tests and other health tests. To get these health tests done at affordable costs, you can book a lab test on Bajaj Finserv Health. Schedule an appointment and get your iron test done from the comfort of your home. You can even enjoy a discount on the iron studies test on this platform. The Aarogya Care range of medical insurance plans from Bajaj Finserv Health allows you to get free preventive health check-ups and numerous other advantages. The Complete Health Solution plan is specifically designed to meet all your medical requirements cost-effectively. Here, you can enjoy health coverage of up to Rs.10 lakh. Apart from that, you can avail of benefits like unlimited teleconsultations with doctors, lab test reimbursements, pre- and post-hospitalization coverage, daycare treatment benefits, and more. So, invest in a suitable plan to meet your and your family’s medical expenses hassle-free.