“Equipped with the charts, forms, and guidance of an iron educator, my husband and I were able to get a complete diagnosis. Our doctor was glad to have these materials and we have put his name in the registry with five gold stars! In today’s medicine, we have to be foot-soldiers and do the work to learn. But you have to have a doctor who will listen and you have to have reliable information that gets you well…then you come to trust and to apply what you have learned…we cannot thank the IDI enough!” members Terry & Virginia Maxwell, South Carolina
Most at risk for iron deficiency
Women, children and the elderly are most at risk. African American and Hispanic women and their young children are prone to iron deficiency, possibly because of diet or perhaps different hemoglobin needs. Men are rarely iron deficient; but when they are, it is generally due to blood loss from the digestive tract (sometimes indicating disease), diseases that affect iron absorption, and in some cases, alcohol abuse. Except for those who are strict vegetarians, men rarely have dietary iron deficiency.
How iron deficiency is detected and diagnosed
The tests used most often to detect iron deficiency include hemoglobin (the iron-containing protein in the blood that carries iron and oxygen to cells), hematocrit which provides the percentage measures of of red blood cells in the blood, serum ferritin, which indicates the amount of iron stored in the body, and serum iron and iron-binding capacity (IBC, UIBC or TIBC).
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This iron blood test panel measures the hemoglobin, ferritin, fasting serum iron, TIBC (total iron binding capacity) and transferrin levels.