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Iron is a crucial micronutrient the human body requires for growth and development. The body uses iron to form haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. The presence of haemoglobin is essential for the proliferation of oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body.

In addition, Iron also plays a key role in the production of certain hormones in the body. The mineral is also a part of myoglobin which is responsible for storing oxygen in muscles. It is vital for healthy brain development and cognitive functioning.

The adequacy of iron is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It is stored in the body in the liver, spleen, muscle tissues and bone marrow in the form of ferritin. The transfer of iron to different body parts is accomplished by transferrin, a protein that binds to the mineral.

Iron deficiency progresses in stages leading to anaemia and other severe complications.

  • The primary form of iron deficiency occurs with the depletion of stored iron or ferritin levels in the body
  • The mild form occurs after the body doesn't have any more reserves of iron to rely on and causes a decrease in transferrin, leading to reduced red blood cells
  • In the advanced stage, the quantity of RBCs drops further, leading to Iron Deficiency Anemia or IDA

People from certain age groups and conditions are more likely to develop anaemia in their lifetime, such as: 

  • Infants and toddlers 
  • Certain adults like athletes, vegetarians and blood donors 
  • Pre-menopausal women
  • Pregnant females
  • Individuals with unhealthy dietary habits 
  • Elders above 65 years

An imbalance in the intake of dietary iron usually causes IDA. The situation can be further aggravated by factors such as the type of foods consumed food type, growing age, menstruation etc.

A deficiency of iron can adversely affect the functioning of different organs in the body. This can trigger symptoms such as: 

  • Chronic fatigue and exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling cold 
  • Dizziness and shortness of breath 
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Swollen and sore tongue

Upon observing these symptoms, an expert medical professional recommends iron tests to gauge the number of minerals present in the body. The iron testing includes the screening of:

  • Ferritin Analysis: measures the level of ferritin, a protein that stores iron, in the blood. It is found in most cells, particularly those in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow. The level of ferritin in the blood is an important indicator of the body's iron stores. 
  • Iron, Serum Diagnosis: This test observes the presence of iron in the serum after the removal of red blood cells and clotting factors.  
  • Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) test: A blood test that measures the amount of iron that can be bound by the proteins in the blood that transports iron, such as transferrin.
  • Iron Studies (Iron + Tibc) Assessment: This test gauges the % of saturation and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) to analyse the body's ability to transfer iron to different organs. 
  • Iron Saturation: A blood test that is used to measure the percentage of iron-binding capacity in your blood that is being used by iron. It is used to assess how much iron is available in your body and whether or not you may have an iron deficiency.

These iron blood tests help the doctor recommend a suitable treatment and maintenance plan to regulate the absorption of the minerals in the body. Depending on the state of deficiency or overload, the practitioner recommends various discourses such as: 

  • Prescription of iron supplements in the case of iron deficiency
  • Treatment of underlying causes like polyp removal with surgery 
  • Therapy treatment like hemochromatosis, chelation therapy etc. for iron overload

Apollo 24|7 provides a comprehensive range of options for iron studies. The screening methods employ advanced tools and technology along with the expertise of top-notch lab technicians. Moreover, the at-home sample collection and result delivery facilities are also available for your comfort.