Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia. Monitoring levels aids in diagnosis and treatment.
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This test can also be purchased as part of our Anemia panel.
PREPARATION: No fasting or other special preparation is needed for this test.
What does this test do?
This test determines the concentration of total iron circulating in the bloodstream.
Iron is an important mineral for the proper function of muscles and organs, as well as for the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule found inside red blood cells. The original source of all the body’s iron is from foods such as liver and other meat, eggs, fish, and leafy green vegetables. Healthy adult men rarely develop an iron deficiency, because they get enough iron from the foods they eat and usually have enough reserves of iron in their bodies to last for several years. Women however can lose large amounts of iron due to menstrual bleeding, pregnancy, or breast-feeding, and are much more likely than men to need an iron supplement. About three-fourths of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin; the rest is bound to other tissues or proteins such as transferrin and ferritin.
What do the results mean?
Low levels of iron are a common cause of anemia. Abnormally high levels of iron are found in a disease called hemochromatosis.