Iron moves through the blood with the help of a protein called transferrin. The serum iron test is a blood test done to see if one has too much or too little iron in one’s blood. Your health provider is able to gauge how well the protein carries iron in one’s blood.
A doctor can ask for a serum iron test if there are symptoms of anemia and/or low levels of iron. Iron deficiency is quite common in America due to diets followed. Iron deficiency is a cause of anemia but can also be caused by increased blood loss during menstruation, pregnancy, and chronic infections.
Eight hours prior to the test no food or drink should be taken. This is a fasting requisite test. Some medications can also affect the results of an iron serum test, so any prescription or over-the-counter medications taken should be disclosed to the doctor. A doctor may stop certain medications before the test.
The normal range of TIBC though variable from lab to lab, rests between 240-450 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). A total iron-binding capacity value above 450 mcg/dL usually means that there’s a low level of iron in one’s blood. This may be caused by a lack of iron in the diet, increased blood loss during menstruation, pregnancy, or a chronic infection.