jaqui189--Welcome to the boards!
According to your labs you appear to be iron deficienct. The "Iron Panel" aka, an Iron study is explained below. These results tell more about iron in the body by giving a clear picture of either deficiency, normal, or an iron overloaded state. People who do not fit clearly into one of these groups, then, a secondary studies can sometimes be used to clarifying the situation such as: the transferrin receptor concentration, red cell protoporphyrin, bone marrow biopsy or liver biopsy.
"Iron studies" are used for 3 main reasons:
1.) To assess an unexplained anemia.
2.) Screening for iron overload states.
3.) To check the patients response to (iron replacement) or (iron depletion) therapy.
What this panel means:
Serum iron-Is the iron in the blood at the time of testing. This particular test is not considered a good reliable reading because it is influenced by what you have eaten and supplements taken. Low levels are also associated with chronic disease, iron deficiency and post surgery.
TIBC-Is a measurement of the concentration of transferrin. Serum iron binds to transferrin. TIBC goes higher in iron deficiency. It is also increased in pregnancy and oral contraceptives.
Transferrin Saturation %-This is the ratio of Serum Iron and TIBC as a percentage %. It is typically low in simple straight forward iron deficiency.
Ferritin-Is really a storage protein that helps to store iron. Ferritin is stored in the bone marrow, liver and spleen. A decreased ferritin helps to prove iron deficiency.
In an Iron deficiency state there is a fall in ferritin which is the first change that shows iron deficiency, this is followed by a fall in transferrin saturation and rise in transferrin. Changes of chronic disease can mask iron deficiency by maintaining a ferritin in the lower end of the normal range.
This is what the lab features of IDA look like:
Serum Iron <
Transferrin Sat. <
Marrow Iron <
Hope this helps. FLFG