Iron is an essential trace element that is found in hemoglobin, the red blood cell protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. When iron levels drop too low, your body cannot make enough hemoglobin to produce all the red blood cells it needs. As a result, you may become anemic, which may cause you to feel tired and short of breath. Over time, if left untreated, anemia may worsen and lead to additional symptoms.
This test measures your levels of ferritin: a protein that stores iron in your cells. While it’s important to test your iron levels, a ferritin test is also valuable because it measures your iron stores. Your iron stores can become depleted when your iron intake is not sufficient due to the inability to absorb iron from your food (e.g., celiac disease), or if you have an increased need for iron (e.g., with chronic blood loss). Higher than normal iron and ferritin levels occur when the body absorbs more iron than is needed, which may be a sign of a health problem.
A complete blood count (CBC) may help to determine if you have a normal or decreased number of red blood cells. For individuals with anemia, Iron, TIBC (total iron binding capacity), Ferritin, Vitamin B12, and Folate test can help to rule out common deficiencies that can cause anemia by affecting the production of red blood cells.
No special preparation.