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shopgirl37--Your numbers are typical of iron deficiency. Although you very well may not be anemic. Anemia is the end stage of the ferritin stores and the bottom for this range is usually 10-15. You are just above range which would make you iron deficient. You will most likely need to take supplements until your levels are at least 50-100. This can take up to a year for some people or even longer is there are malabsorption syndromes.

Iron Panel: Iron studies are used to assess an unexplained anemia and see how well a patient is responding to iron supplements. It is also used for other conditions that are not related to iron deficiency anemia, so I will leaves these out.


The "Iron Panel" tests are; serum iron, aka, (Fe), Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC), (UBIC) and Transferrin Saturation as a %. Ferritin is usually a stand alone test.

Serum iron-This is a poor assessment of iron because changes occur according to what your vitamin intake is and foods eaten. Low levels may be seen in chronic disease, iron deficiency and after surgery.

TIBC-This is a measure of the concentration of transferrin. Serum iron is bound to transferrin. TIBC will be higher in iron deficiency. It may also be lower in conditions such as iron overload, however, is not a very reliable measurement because it is influenced by other factors. It is also increased by pregnancy and the oral contraceptives.

Transferrin saturation-This is simply the ratio of serum iron and TIBC expressed as a %. It is low in uncomplicated iron deficiency.

Ferritin-Iron is mostly stored in the ferritin which is a storage protein. It is stored in the bone marrow, and organs such as the liver and spleen. A decreased ferritin is meaningful in the diagnosis of a simple uncomplicated iron deficiency.

So, a serum iron and Sat % percent that are low = low ferritin. When your total body iron is high, ferritin is usually high, when total iron body is low, ferritin tends to be low as well. ~Iron deficient people~ tend to have a ferritin less than 10-12 whatever the bottom of your range is. My Hematologist says under 10, there is no iron remaining. Take care and keep us posted. FLFG;)

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