Blood test for serum iron

In our body there is a considerable number of types of formations, substances and compounds, one of the most important elements is iron. It, in turn, also has its own subspecies: transport, deposited and functional. Most of the iron is in the blood, in the composition of respiratory pigments: hemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochrome, some iron-containing pigments. Do not underestimate the role of iron in the body. This element is responsible for performing many functions, such as transporting oxygen to cells, organs and tissues, producing DNA, blood formation process, cholesterol metabolism, and many other metabolic, energy and redox processes.

Table of contents:
  • Serum iron, what is it?
  • Blood serum iron norm
  • Serum iron below normal
  • Increased

In medicine, the concept of "serum iron".This indicator is necessary to evaluate all metabolic processes in the body related to iron. The patient is asked to donate blood for serum iron, if the concentration of this important element in the blood is critically low.

Today we will tell you what serum iron is in the blood, what is its role in the body, and for what reason the iron-metabolism deviations occur.

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Whey iron, what is it?

In the body of each person contains about 4-7 g of iron, which comes mainly with food. However, this figure means the total amount of the element, but in its pure form, of course, it is very difficult to find it. Usually, iron is part of any porphyrite and enzyme compounds( including hemoglobin, almost 80% of the total stock falls on it).

Serum iron is found, as a rule, in combination with the transferrin protein that binds and transports it.

Laboratory diagnostics provides for such a study as a “blood test for serum iron,” and it is necessary to detect various pathological conditions in humans, which resulted in a dramatic loss of an element. Most often, the analysis is used to determine the degree of iron deficiency anemia in humans.

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Serum iron norm in the bloodetc. In addition, the level of iron can undergo changes during the day: in the morning its concentration is higher than in the evening. The indicator may also vary in people of different age categories and gender.

The rate of serum iron in the blood of women is less than that of representatives of the stronger half and is about 10.7-21.5 µmol / L.

Serum iron is normal in men, ranging from 14.0 to 30.4 µmol / L.

Such differences in normative values ​​are due, to a greater degree, to periodic menstrual bleeding, which concern only women.

Also, it should be noted that the serum iron rate during pregnancy, especially in the second half of it, can significantly decrease, this is due to the formation of the internal organs and circulatory system in the fetus, as well as changes in the mother's body. In general, the indicator in the period of gestation of the baby should not be below 10.0 mmol / l, otherwise the pregnant woman will be diagnosed with anemia and a set of measures to improve the condition. The analysis of serum iron in pregnancy is given three times( at the first treatment, at 18 and at 30 weeks), and at a low rate, a woman will have to donate blood for testing a little more often to see the dynamics of improvement or deterioration.

For children, their permissible limits for the indicator have been established, based on age. Serum iron is the norm in children:

  • Newborns up to 1 year old - 7.15 - 17.9 mmol / l;
  • Children from a year to 14 years old - 8.9 - 21.5 μmol / l;
  • Boys over 14 years old - 11.6 - 30.4 µmol / l;
  • Girls after 14 years old - 8.9- 30.4 μmol / l.

The result of the analysis depends not only on the gender and age of the individual patient, but also on his weight, height, general health, lifestyle, the presence of chronic diseases, and other factors.

In addition, each patient must first be explained how to pass the test for serum iron in order not to get a false result. The main most important rules and recommendations before donating blood for research:

  • Blood should be given on an empty stomach( better in the morning), it is desirable that the last meal was not less than 12 hours ago;
  • If a patient takes pills to treat iron deficiency anemia, they should be canceled a week before the upcoming analysis;
  • The analysis should be postponed if the day before you were subjected to blood transfusion;
  • Serum iron is increased in women on the eve of the onset of menstrual bleeding, and decreases significantly during menstruation, so this fact needs to be told to the doctor, who will help you choose the most optimal period for the study;
  • It should also be noted that it can be revealed that serum iron is lowered in the case of chronic sleep deprivation and severe stress suffered on the eve.

If all the rules have been observed, and there can be no errors, but the analysis still shows deviations, then you should understand the reasons for this state.

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Serum iron is below the norm

Despite the fact that the concentration of this metal in the blood is very unstable, the assessment of the indicator is extremely important for the diagnosis of such pathology as anemia( anemia), as well as to monitor the correctness of the prescribed treatment. Anemia can not manifest itself for a long time, and a person accidentally learns about such a state of his blood by chance, after a periodic biochemical analysis. In other cases, the reduction of iron in the blood to critical values, can be fatal. One can suspect the development of anemia on some grounds, for example:

  • Constant feeling of weakness;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Frequent headaches and dizziness;
  • . The appearance of cracks and jams around the mouth;
  • Disruption of taste and olfactory senses;
  • Excessive dry and brittle hair and nail plates;
  • Pallor of lips, skin and mucous membranes.

So, the most common reason for a person to detect a reduced level of serum iron is the development of anemia associated with iron deficiency.

Since iron is not produced by the body itself, the main cause of iron deficiency is unbalanced( or vegetarian) food. Most of the iron is absorbed in the body from meat and fish( almost 30%), while from plant products it is no more than 6%.

But other pathological and physiological factors can also affect iron levels. Serum iron lowered causes:

  • Large blood loss;
  • Inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract( chronic intestinal diseases, gastritis with low acidity of gastric juice, neoplasms in the intestine or stomach, bleeding ulcers);
  • The presence of chronic inflammatory, septic and other infectious diseases( eg tuberculosis, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial endocarditis, etc.);
  • The total iron binding capacity of serum is impaired in diseases affecting the formation of transferrin and other iron-binding proteins. Such diseases include hepatitis, incl.viral.
  • Pregnancy( especially II or III trimester).

It should be noted that sometimes the results of the analysis reveal low serum iron with normal hemoglobin, and even overestimated. Hemoglobin is not always an indicator of a sufficient amount of iron in the blood, therefore, to determine the "reserves" of iron in the body, experts analyze the indicator of serum iron, or the total iron-binding capacity of serum( OLS).

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A pathological condition in which elevated serum iron is fixed in the blood is called hemochromatosis. The disease may be primary( congenital or hereditary) or secondary( acquired), but in either case it is characterized by excessive iron content in the blood plasma, deposition of "excess" metal in the tissues, impaired metabolism and iron excretion.

The condition when serum iron is elevated to critical values ​​is a very dangerous pathology that can provoke the development of serious diseases, including oncological formations in the intestine or liver.

If serum iron is elevated in the blood, the causes can be found in various internal pathologies, for example:

  • Liver cirrhosis;
  • Prolonged course of serious infectious diseases;
  • Inflammatory processes in the kidney( eg. Glomerulonephritis);
  • Frequent blood transfusions;
  • Acute Hepatitis;
  • Iron poisoning.

To date, hemochromatosis is safely treated with the help of drugs, which are ways to capture particles of "extra" iron, translate them into a soluble state, and successfully excrete with urine. Also, patients with a similar diagnosis are recommended to adjust their diet so that all elements arrive in the quantities necessary for the body.

Analysis of serum iron is the only type of study showing the concentration of iron in the blood and the level of exchange of this element in the body.

Periodically check blood counts and monitor your health!