Markers Measured:

  • Percent of saturation
  • Serum iron
  • Total iron binding capacity
  • Unsaturated iron binding capacity

Iron and TIBC Test

A type of blood test that gauges whether there’s too much or too little iron in your bloodstream, the total iron binding capacity (TIBC) test evaluates how well transferrin carries iron through your blood. Iron, which your body gets through your diet, is carried throughout your bloodstream by a protein called transferrin, which is produced by your liver. Your physician will typically order TIBC tests to check for medical conditions that cause abnormal iron levels.

Your physician will order a TIBC test if you show symptoms of low iron levels which include feeling tired and weak, skin pallor, an increase in infections, always feeling cold, a swollen tongue, difficulty concentrating at school or work or delayed mental development in children. A TIBC test may also be ordered if your physician suspects you have too much iron in your blood, which most commonly indicates an underlying medical condition. Some common causes of high iron levels include hemolytic anemia, iron or lead poisoning, frequent blood transfusions, liver damage or in rare cases, high iron levels may be caused by an overdose of vitamins or iron supplements.

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