What is the Iron Binding Capacity, Why Its High and Low?
In order for the body to be healthy, it must be able to perform certain functions. In order for these functions to continue smoothly, important compounds such as vitamins and minerals must be present in the body in the required amount. Iron is one of the most important minerals for the body. Iron is needed for some important vital activities to take place in the body. In other words, if the iron level in the body is above or below the normal range, it causes some disturbing symptoms in the body.
The amount of iron in the body is measured by the total iron binding capacity (TDBK or transferrin) test. Thanks to this test, it can be understood whether the amount of iron in the blood is more or less. In case of iron deficiency in the blood, the iron level will be low as a result of the test, but in this case, the person’s iron binding capacity (TDBK or transferrin) will be high. Conversely, if there is too much iron in the blood (for example, if there is hemochromatosis) the iron level will be high, but the iron binding capacity (TDBK or transferrin) will be low or normal. TDBK; means total iron binding capacity.
What is Iron Binding Capacity?
It is a type of blood test in which all proteins whose iron binding capacity is dependent on the level of iron in the blood are measured. The first of these proteins is transferrin. In other words, iron binding capacity and transferrin in the blood can be measured indirectly.
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TDBK) is a widely used test for the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia.
Normal Values of Iron Binding Capacity
225 – 480 ug / dl in men
215 – 480 ug / dl in women
What Causes the Iron Binding Capacity?
- The conditions that cause the iron binding capacity to increase are as follows:
- Having iron deficiency anemia (anemia)
- Use of certain contraceptives (progestorone containing drugs)
- The person is in the last period of pregnancy
- Having acute hepatitis
- Acute liver injury
- The person losing too much blood
- Having Polycythemia vera (a disease in which red blood cells are produced too much in the body)
- Hypochromic anemia (anemia where the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells is low and the middle of the red blood cell is pale)
What are the Causes of Low Iron Binding Capacity?
The conditions that cause the iron binding capacity to decrease are as follows:
- Having Hemochromatosis (disease caused by excessive accumulation of iron in the body)
- Low blood proteins in the body (hypoproteinemia)
- Cirrhosis in the person
- The person suffering from thalassemia (known as Mediterranean anemia and a genetically inherited type of anemia) disease,
- Sickle cell anemia (a type of anemia that occurs genetically as a result of an inherited problem in the hemoglobin structure)
- Anemia that is not related to iron deficiency in the body
- Some viral infections
- Having pernicious anemia (a type of anemia caused by a defect in the absorption of vitamin B12 in the digestive system)
- Severe nutritional disorders
- Hyperthyroidism (a condition in which the thyroid gland works faster than it should)
- Nephrotic syndrome in the person (a disease that causes edema in the body as a result of protein leakage from the kidneys)
How is Low Iron-binding Capacity Treated?
In case of low iron binding capacity, the cause of the disease is first investigated for the treatment to be applied. In this case, the most common treatment method is phlebotomy, that is, regular blood collection from the patient. Thanks to this method, the excess iron that should be in the blood is reduced. In addition, some drugs that decrease the absorption of iron in the body and thus increase the iron binding capacity can be used.
In addition, the low consumption of iron-containing foods will help patients to increase their iron binding capacity, albeit a little. In particular, the decrease in the consumption of foods containing vitamin C will contribute to reducing the iron level in the blood. Patients can consume enough caffeinated foods such as tea, coffee and cocoa to reduce the absorption of iron in the blood. These types of diets help to increase the iron binding capacity.
How to Treat Height of Iron Binding Capacity?
The treatment to be applied in patients with high iron binding capacity is determined depending on the cause of this situation. For example, if the cause is anemia, treatment may be possible by transfusing blood to the patient. If the doctor considers it necessary, the patient is given a bone marrow transplant and the level of iron binding in the blood is brought back to normal.
In case of high iron capacity due to improper diet, it will be beneficial for the person to choose the right diet and especially to consume iron-rich foods. Drug therapy can be used to reduce iron deficiency in the body in adults and pregnant women with high levels of iron binding capacity.