Testing for Iron Deficiency

testing iron deficiency

Most people wonder if the only way to test for iron deficiency anemia is to give blood. If you have common symptoms of iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider and ask for blood tests.

No one test is used to determine iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia, but instead a series of tests. Physicians will typically test your hemoglobin and hematocrit.

  • Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen in the body.
  • A hematocrit test determines the percentage of red blood cells in the total volume of blood.

By the time hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are low, a person is in the later stages of iron deficiency anemia.

Other tests a physician may order include a complete blood count which includes the total number of red blood cells, serum ferritin (the storage form of iron in the body, serum iron (the amount of iron in your blood) and transferrin saturation (the transportation form of iron in the blood).

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