An Iron Serum Test is ordered to measure iron levels in the blood, which can indicate iron deficiency or iron overload.
The Iron Serum Test is also known as a Serum Iron or Serum Fe test. It is also commonly referred to as an Fe test, for iron’s chemical element symbol. No fasting is required for this blood test, and results will be ready within 1-2 days. Patients do not need a doctor’s order or insurance to purchase this test.
Iron is an essential element in the body that comes from the food we eat (liver and other meat, eggs, fish and leafy greens are good sources). It is an important part of hemoglobin, the protein within red blood cells that enables the transport of oxygen throughout the body. Iron is essential for energy as well as optimal muscle and organ function. About 70% of the iron absorbed from foods is used in the production of hemoglobin; the rest is stored in tissues in the form of ferritin or hemosiderin. If your diet lacks iron, levels of iron in the blood drop, and the body turns to its iron stores. This could eventually lead to iron deficiency anemia. If too much iron is being absorbed, organ damage can result.
The amount of iron in the blood varies from day to day, as well as at different points in the day, which is why the Iron Serum Test is often ordered along with a TIBC test*, transferrin test and/or ferritin serum test. Together these tests offer a more complete picture than a single test alone, and can diagnose various iron-related diseases and conditions such as anemia, iron deficiency, hemochromatosis (iron overload) and iron poisoning.
* Walk-In Lab’s iron and TIBC blood test includes the Iron Serum Test.