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Total Iron Binding Capacity - 000234

This is another test which gives an idea about the amount of iron which is present in your body. Whenever iron is needed by the cells in the body it is transported from the storage sites, bound to a protein called transferrin. And the total iron binding capacity is a test which is done to determine the amount of freely available transferrin in the blood.

The total iron binding capacity is a test which is done to measure the level of a protein called transferrin in the blood, which is the protein to which iron is bound and transported. By measuring this your doctor will be able to get an idea about the amount of freely available transferrin and how much is available to be bound to the iron.

If you doctor suspects that you might be having anemia (low levels of hemoglobin in the red cells) or if other tests you have done previously suggests that you have anemia due to iron deficiency, then you will most likely have to undergo this test. There can be occasions when there is too much iron in your system, such as in liver disease or hemolytic anemia.

Certain medication and ingestion of iron containing food can alter the results of this test. Therefore your healthcare provider may ask you to undergo this test after fasting (that is not eat or drink anything, except water) for a period of 8-10 hours. You might also be asked to avoid certain medication on the day you are being tested, in order to ensure accurate results.

During this, a Medical Lab Technician will draw out a small volume of blood, using a needle and syringe which is inserted into a vein in your arm. This blood sample is then sent to the lab for analysis.

Since this test is a simple drawing of blood, you will not feel a lot of discomfort. You might experience a mild pain on inserting the needle, but you will not experience any uneasiness afterwards.

There is very little risk in undergoing a total iron binding capacity test, because it is a simple blood drawing. Very rarely you might continue to have a mild pain or some swelling at the site where the needle was inserted, but these symptoms will resolve on their own within a couple of days.

The normal range of the total iron binding capacity should be between 240 to 450 mcg/dL, or 42.96 to 80.55 micromol/L. If your results are showing values higher than this, you might be having less iron in your blood as a result of which there is large amounts of free transferrin. If your results are showing values less than this, then it means there is too much iron in your body, with very little free transferrin.

As mentioned above certain food and medication can have an effect on the level of iron in the blood, therefore these should be avoided prior to testing. Any episodes of heavy bleeding before the test, such as due to heavy menstruation can also affect the reading. Always discuss these issues with your healthcare provider.