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|Why is this test done?||These tests are useful to differentiate the various types of anemias. They help to establish iron stores. Measuring these parameters is a good way to assess a person's nutritional status.|
|How to prepare:||
|Associated Tests:||Usually, iron, ferritin and transferrin tests and total iron binding capacity are done in combination with hemoglobin tests and red blood cell count (hematocrit).|
Iron plays several important functions in the body. It is involved in the formation and functioning of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. Most iron is found in hemoglobin, the rest is stored as ferritin. Iron needs a protein, called transferrin, to travel in the blood. Blood iron levels represent the balance between dietary intake and iron losses (menses, loss in stools, etc.). Ferritin levels are useful to assess body iron stores. Iron binding capacity is calculated from blood transferrin levels and is expressed as a percentage. It is used to distinguish the various types of anemia.
The four most frequent iron-related tests are::
If the result is too high
Pregnancy can affect results, usually making them lower. Recent blood transfusion increases the amount of blood iron. Among drugs, oral contraceptives (the "pill") increase blood iron levels and iron binding capacity.
Before going for blood tests, a procedure or other exam, it is best to always bring a list of all the drugs you take (prescription, OTC and natural health products). Unless told otherwise, you should take your medication as usual on the day of the test. When in doubt, ask your pharmacist for more information.
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.