why i test:
Especially in my female patients iron deficiency is the most common and symptomatic deficit I find. Patients have often lived with years of extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and slowed metabolism directly related to this deficiency. Once patients improve these levels they often feel dramatically better.
what i test:
Some patients say "how can I be iron deficient if I am not anemic?" Actually it is possible to have quite low levels of iron before you become anemic. Our iron is so important to our body that it keeps a storage form called ferritin as a reserve. In my office I send a complete iron profile if I suspect iron deficiency. This includes serum iron (normal range: 40-160 ug/dL, ideal: >100g/dL), UIBC (normal range: 155-300 ug/dL, abnormal is >300g/dL), and ferritin (normal range 10-120 NG/mL, goal >50 NG/mL). Understanding these levels is confusing, so feel free to ask questions at your visit.
who i test:
Many processes in your body including building blood cells to carry oxygen, determining level of thyroid activity and your immune system's ability to fight infection rely on iron. I test anyone who has been told they were anemic in the past, women with heavy periods, and patients with a family history of iron deficiency, and those with unexplained fatigue, shortness of breath or frequent infections.