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Total Iron Binding Capacity

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Overview

The Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) is a blood test that determines the amount of iron carrying capacity in the blood.

What is the Total Iron Binding Capacity?

Iron is bound by a protein called transferrin and the Total Iron Binding Capacity test indicates whether too little or too much iron is available in the body. Iron is an important element in the production of healthy red blood cells.

Why is the Total Iron Binding Capacity test suggested?

Total Iron Binding Capacity is suggested when the hemoglobin level and hematocrit count found in the routine complete blood count is too low or too high. 

How is the Total Iron Binding Capacity test performed?

The Total Iron Binding Capacity test is measured by taking a blood sample. The area over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic solution before the test. The blood is drawn from a needle that is inserted into a vein.

What are the parameters measured in the Total Iron Binding Capacity test?

The Total Iron Binding Capacity measures the total amount of iron that can be bound by protein in the blood. 

Preparation before performing the Total Iron Binding Capacity test

The patient should inform the doctor about ongoing medication prior to the Total Iron Binding Capacity test.

Post-care after the Total Iron Binding Capacity test

The Total Iron Binding Capacity test is a simple outpatient procedure that does not require any specific post-care steps.

Sample types in Total Iron Binding Capacity values

A blood sample is required in the Total Iron Binding Capacity test.

Side effects/risks of the Total Iron Binding Capacity test

Temporary pain may be felt while extracting blood for the Total Iron Binding Capacity test. The following side effects may occur:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Excessive bleeding after needle withdrawal.
  • Multiple punctures to locate a good vein.

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