Iron Saturation – Low and High

Iron saturation has been known to vary from time to time, and one should know when the range is sufficient of not. When you have low iron saturation, you may experience anemic symptoms and you should seek iron tests from your lab. Here you will see some of the tests, and what happens, when you have too much or too low iron levels in your body. The Total Iron-Binding Capacity (TIBC) is the most common iron test used to check on whether someone has an iron deficiency or overload. The test, in conjunction with the serum iron test, is used to determine the levels of transferrin, which is a great indicator of the iron status. The range for a normal person should be 20 to 40 percent.

In iron deficiency situations, the TIBC increases, thereby lowering the transferrin saturation. In cases of iron overload, such as hemochromatosis, the TIBC will be lo, causing the transferrin saturation to increase. The TIBC test is also used to test for liver disease and the nutritional status of the patient.

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Tests

When a person has low iron in the body, the TIBC test will be performed, and other tests will be done if there are signs of anemia. If a CBC is performed and the blood cells are found be microcytic and hypochromic, then further tests will be ordered.

Low Iron Saturation – Symptoms

Low iron saturation will bring about:

  • Dizziness since there is not enough hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the brain
  • Fatigue and weakness since the muscles do not have enough oxygen once again
  • Headaches and a pale skin

High Iron Saturation  – Symptoms

High iron saturation will bring about:

  • Joint pain since there is the depositing of iron in the joints and this causes inflammation during movement
  • Fatigue and weakness since there is the deposition of iron in the tissues and muscles
  • A lack of energy
  • Loss of sexual drive
  • Abdominal pains
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of hair
  • Development of heart issues such as congestive heart failure

The causes of different iron saturation levels in the blood

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The reasons why there may be low or high iron saturation levels in the body are vast and varied. Here are some of them:

  • Pregnancy – a pregnant woman may have low iron saturation levels, and may be put on a special diet and asked to take supplements.
  • Hemochromatosis – this is the one that causes high iron saturation in the blood
  • Malnutrition – not being able to get the recommended daily requirements of iron in your diet every day
  • Liver disease – it has been shown to bring about different transferrin results and may indicate high or low iron saturation levels
  • Some kind of anemia – there are certain forms of anemia that will actually increase the iron saturation in the blood.
  • Nephrotic Syndrome – This is a kidney disease that causes protein to be lost in the urine. This affects the iron saturation in the body.
  • Frequent blood transfusions – this can lead to high iron levels in the blood

You should note that iron overload can lead to iron poisoning which may be life-threatening. This is the case when you have iron triggering free radicals in the body which cause damage to organs and these can lead to eventual loss of life.

Treatment of iron saturation – low and high

In cases where there is low iron levels, the best treatments include:

Getting proper diet – if the situation is not so serious, the patient can be asked to eat foods that contain a lot of iron. Kale is a vegetable that is very popular for having the right iron levels.

Getting supplementation – for people who require iron at levels higher than those that can be supplied by the diet, iron supplementation is advised. Most pregnant ladies will undergo iron supplementation at some point during their term.

In cases where the is a high level of iron in the blood, the best treatment is:

Visit the doctor immediately especially if symptoms are severe. You may be put on a serious detoxification regimen.

Iron is an important element in the blood and other organs of the body; its saturation should not fluctuate too much, since it can have adverse reactions on the body. Too little iron will mean that the vital organs of the body will not get enough oxygen and this can be fatal at times. Too much iron will cause iron-catalyzed free radicals to be triggered and oxidative stress will be the result. Oxidative stress can cause lasting damage to your body.

Take regular blood tests to determine your iron saturation levels and know your natural defense levels against iron poisoning. Apart from TIBC, there are other tests that you can do to know the levels of iron in your body.

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