Iron Binding Test

This test measures the amount of iron in the blood that is capable of binding to the protein transferrin.

This test measures the amount of iron in the blood that is capable of binding to the protein transferrin.

Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) measures the amount of iron capable of binding to the protein transferrin. This test helps your healthcare provider diagnose conditions associated with low iron (i.e., iron deficiency anemia) or high iron levels (hemochromatosis).

  • TIBC is most frequently used with the total iron level and ferritin test to determine the iron status in the body. This can help diagnose an iron deficiency anemia or hemochromatosis.
  • Once the iron status of the body is determined, further diagnostic tests can be performed to determine the cause of abnormal levels (either low or high).

In the beginning, low iron levels (anemia) often go unnoticed. As the iron level drops, some of the following symptoms can occur:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Headaches
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

The blood sample is usually taken by placing a needle in a vein in the arm or by pricking a finger.

  • You may need to fast (not eat) for a few hours before the test.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop taking any medicines before the test.
  • Do not stop taking any medicine unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so.

This care path's costs do not include the charge to draw blood from a vein (venipuncture). There will only be one charge to draw blood, even if multiple tests are being performed on the samples that are taken.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • What is the reason for the test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?


Also known as:

Iron Binding Test
Laboratory Work
Iron Level
Iron Blood Test
Blood Test for Iron
Level of Iron
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