What is Iron Serum?
Iron serum test is used to measure the level of iron in the blood. Iron is essential for making red blood cells (RBCs), healthy muscles and bone marrow.
The typical symptoms of iron deficiency may include pale skin, fatigue, headaches, and weakness and signs of iron overload include weakness, joints and abdominal pain. This test is usually advised if someone experiences symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, increased accumulation of iron in the body, and low hemoglobin levels.
The iron levels can be too low due to anemia, decreased intake of iron during pregnancy, and lactation. The high levels of iron in the body may indicate a possible case of liver disease and lead poisoning.
Most conditions that cause too little or too much iron can be successfully treated with iron supplements, diet, and medicines.
Why is Iron Serum done?
- If you have signs or symptoms of iron deficiency anemia like pallor, fatigue, weakness, headaches
- If your CBC shows that your hemoglobin and hematocrit are low and RBC’s are smaller and paler than normal which usually suggest iron deficiency anemia
- If you have signs or symptoms of increased accumulation of iron in the body like joint pain, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of body hair
Interpreting Iron Serum results
Serum iron test is usually evaluated in conjunction with other iron tests.
- A low iron with a high TIBC and transferrin usually indicates iron deficiency anemia. Various causes of iron deficiency are decreased intake, pregnancy, lactation, malabsorption syndromes
- High levels of serum iron can occur as a result of multiple blood transfusions, lead poisoning, liver diseases, sideroblastic anemia, hemachromatosis