TIBC (total iron-binding capacity) measures all of the proteins in the blood that are available to bind with iron, including transferrin. Since transferrin is the primary iron-binding protein, the TIBC test is a good indirect measurement of transferrin. The body produces transferrin in relationship to the need for iron. When iron stores are low, transferrin levels increase and vice versa. In healthy people, about one-third of the binding sites on transferrin are used to transport iron.
People who suspect they may have a chronic iron overload (hemochromatosis). HFE genetic testing may be ordered to help confirm a diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis and sometimes when a person has a family history of hemochromatosis.
A TIBC test may also be ordered when a person has symptoms that are suspected to be due to iron overload or poisoning.
These may include:
• Joint pain
• Fatigue, weakness
• Lack of energy
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of sex drive
• Heart problems
For more information on this test, visit labtestsonline.org
Total Iron Binding Capacity
Please do not eat or drink anything (except water) for 12 hours prior to having your specimen collected.