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Home > Blog > TIBC Test: Normal Range, High & Low Levels

TIBC Test:  Normal Range, High & Low Levels

TIBC Test: Normal Range, High & Low Levels

Max Lab

Nov 08, 2023

Iron is one of the most essential nutrients that are required by human beings for their overall development. Approximately 70 per cent of the total iron present in an individual’s body is found in red blood cells in the form of haemoglobin and in muscle cells in the form of myoglobin. Both of these proteins are responsible for the transportation of oxygen in the body. Apart from helping with the production of healthy red blood cells, iron is responsible for several other bodily functions.

Without enough iron, the body cannot produce enough red blood cells, and this also causes a disruption to the transportation of oxygen in the body. Similarly, when there is too much iron present in the bloodstream, it can also lead to several health issues. So it is important for an individual to ensure that their iron levels are within the normal range. However, the human body cannot produce iron on its own, so it absorbs this vital mineral only from the foods or supplements that one consumes.

What is Iron Binding Capacity?

Another protein named transferrin plays a crucial role in this whole process. Released by the liver, this glycoprotein binds to iron and helps it move throughout the body. The transferrin levels in an individual’s body represent the amount of iron it is capable of binding.

Mainly, there are two different types of iron-binding capacity: unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC) and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC). UIBC indicates the amount of transferrin that is not yet bound to iron. TIBC, on the other hand, indicates the total amount of iron in an individual’s blood, including the UIBC.

What is a TIBC Test?

The TIBC, or Total Iron Binding Capacity Test, is performed to check the transferrin levels in an individual’s body. This is a protein that is produced by the liver to regulate the absorption of iron into the blood. When an individual’s iron levels are lower than normal, the liver tries to compensate by producing more transferrin. The TIBC test determines the capacity of this protein to bind with iron and how well it can carry iron in the bloodstream.

When is a TIBC Test Prescribed?

Generally, a doctor prescribes this test when an individual has symptoms indicating abnormal iron levels in the body. There are two possible conditions: iron deficiency (caused by low iron levels) and hemochromatosis (caused by high iron levels).

Iron Deficiency

This is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies diagnosed in human beings. It is often characterized by a low RBC count or a low haemoglobin level.

Here are a few common symptoms of low iron levels:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Frequent infections
  • Constant chills
  • Swollen tongue
  • Difficulty in concentrating

Hemochromatosis

When an individual’s body has iron levels higher than normal, it indicates an underlying medical condition. In some cases, high iron levels can be caused by an overdose of vitamins or iron supplements.

Some of the common symptoms of hemochromatosis include:

How to Prepare for the TIBC Test?

To get more accurate test results, overnight fasting is recommended before sample collection. In addition to this, certain medications are also known to affect the results of a TIBC test. So, it is best to consult the doctor and ask about the medicines that should be avoided.

What is Normal Range of TIBC Test

Total Iron Binding Capacity Test Normal Range

Sample Age Wise Range
Serum/ Plasma 0 - 30 days 255 - 605 µg/ dL
1 month - 1 year 195 - 455 µg/ dL
1 Year - 12 years 205 - 475 µg/ dL
Adult (Male & Female) Normal Range
Male (> 13 Years) 225 - 535 µg/ dL
Female (> 13 Years) 215 - 535 µg/ dL
Iron Test Normal Range Sample Age Wise Range
Serum/ Plasma 0 - 30 days 100 - 250 µg/ dL
1 Month - 1 year 40 - 100 µg/ dL
1 Year - 12 Year 50 - 120 µg/ dL
Adult (Male & Female) Normal Range
Male (> 12 Years) 70-180 µg/ dL
Female (> 12 Years) 60-180 µg/ dL
Unsaturated Iron-Binding Capacity (UIBC) Test Normal Range Sample Male Female
Serum/ Plasma 155 - 355 µg/ dL 155 - 355 µg/ dL

 

TIBC Test Result Interpretation

As the name suggests, the TIBC test helps to determine if an individual’s total iron binding capacity is within the normal range or not. When one has high iron binding capacity and low ferritin levels, it indicates that the body’s iron supplies are low. This is also the reason why the TIBC level is high in iron deficiency anemia. Similarly, when one has a low TIBC and a high ferritin level, it indicates the presence of hemochromatosis.

However, the normal range of unsaturated iron binding capacity and total iron binding capacity can vary from one person to another. So, once the test results are received, it is best to consult a doctor who will take factors like age, medical history, etc. into consideration and perform a proper diagnosis.

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