Iron, Total and Ferritin Panel Most Popular

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.


Ferritin is a protein found inside cells that stores iron so your body can use it later. A ferritin test indirectly measures the amount of iron in your blood. The amount of ferritin in your blood (serum ferritin level) is directly related to the amount of iron stored in your body.

Also known as: Iron Total

Iron, Total

Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for many functions. For example, iron is part of hemoglobin, a protein which carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. It helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is also part of many other proteins and enzymes. Your body needs the right amount of iron. If you have too little iron, you may develop iron deficiency anemia. Causes of low iron levels include blood loss, poor diet, or an inability to absorb enough iron from foods. People at higher risk of having too little iron are young children and women who are pregnant or have periods.
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The Iron, Total and Ferritin Panel panel contains 2 tests with 2 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The Iron Total and Ferritin panel is a focused set of blood tests used to assess the body's iron status. This panel combines two key indicators, Total Iron and Ferritin, to provide a comprehensive overview of iron availability and storage within the body, which are crucial for various physiological functions, especially the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: The patient should be fasting 9-12 hours prior to collection and collection should be done in the morning.

When and Why the Iron Total and Ferritin Panel May Be Ordered

Healthcare providers may order the Iron Total and Ferritin panel when symptoms suggest conditions related to abnormal iron levels, such as anemia, chronic fatigue, or when iron overload is suspected. It is also commonly ordered as part of a workup for nutritional status evaluation, especially in cases of dietary insufficiency or malabsorption, and to monitor iron levels during treatment for iron deficiency or overload.

What the Iron Total and Ferritin Panel Checks For

  • Iron Total: This test measures the total amount of iron circulating in the plasma. Iron is a vital mineral necessary for the production of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Total iron levels can fluctuate throughout the day and can be affected by recent iron intake, so it is often measured alongside other tests for a more accurate assessment of iron status.

  • Ferritin: Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body's cells, releasing it when needed. Ferritin levels reflect the amount of stored iron and are the most accurate indicator of the body's total iron stores. Unlike total iron, ferritin levels are less likely to fluctuate significantly in the short term and provide a more stable indicator of iron status.

Conditions or Diseases the Iron Total and Ferritin Panel Can Check For

The Iron Total and Ferritin panel can help diagnose and manage conditions such as:

  • Iron Deficiency Anemia: Characterized by low iron and ferritin levels, leading to reduced hemoglobin production and fewer or smaller red blood cells.
  • Iron Overload Disorders: Such as hemochromatosis, where excessive iron accumulation can damage organs, typically showing elevated ferritin levels.
  • Chronic Diseases: Where ferritin levels may be elevated due to its role as an acute-phase reactant, even when iron stores are normal or low.

Use of Iron Total and Ferritin Panel Results by Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals interpret the results of the Iron Total and Ferritin panel in the context of clinical findings and other laboratory tests to diagnose conditions related to iron metabolism. Low iron and ferritin levels typically indicate iron deficiency, while high levels may suggest iron overload or inflammation. The panel results guide treatment strategies, such as iron supplementation for deficiency or therapeutic phlebotomy for overload, and monitor the effectiveness of these interventions.

The Iron Total and Ferritin panel is a crucial diagnostic tool for assessing the body's iron status, providing valuable insights into iron availability and storage. This panel aids in the diagnosis and management of various conditions related to abnormal iron levels, including iron deficiency anemia and iron overload disorders. By offering a comprehensive view of iron metabolism, this panel enables healthcare providers to tailor treatment approaches effectively and ensure optimal patient care.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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