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What does a blood iron test mean? Normal blood iron levels? Iron-deficiency anemia


Iron (Iron, Ferrum). The normal level of iron in the blood in men is 65–175 mg / dL, in women 50–170 mg / dL. Iron, not yet used to build hemoglobin, is stored in the body, mainly in ferritin and hemosiderin. The amount of ferritin strictly reflects iron stores: with its deficiency, it decreases, with an excess (for example, after frequent blood transfusions) it increases.

An increase in serum iron is characteristic of hemolysis (hemoglobin comes out of destroyed erythrocytes, and iron is released during its breakdown), for some forms of anemia, in which hemoglobin synthesis is impaired (reduced iron consumption), for excessive uncontrolled intake of iron and for some rare diseases specifically related with iron accumulation. The widespread opinion among the population that any anemia requires an increase in the delivery of iron into the body is fundamentally wrong: in case of anemia without proven iron deficiency, iron treatment is contraindicated, and in any case it is impossible to start taking iron preparations without a doctor's prescription.

When taking iron inside, side effects can be noted: nausea; vomiting; constipation; diarrhea ; abdominal pain, black feces; liquid preparations (syrups, drops) can cause blackening of the teeth. Iron is used in the body primarily for the synthesis of hemoglobin. Erythrocytes contain about 70% of the total iron stores in the body; therefore, iron deficiency leads, first of all, to the development of iron deficiency anemia .

Causes leading to iron deficiency: increased need (for example, during pregnancy), lack of iron intake from food, malabsorption, acute blood loss and chronic bleeding. In addition to a decrease in the content of iron and ferritin, other laboratory indicators confirm the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia: an increase in iron-binding capacity (capacity - see below), microcytosis - a significant number of small red blood cells containing little hemoglobin, which is confirmed by a low MCV indicator - (see below) and is noted specifically see the response of the laboratory «at RBC morpho - logy» - the morphology of red blood cells - in a word: mICROCYTOSIS abbreviated MICRO.     

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