The test measures the level of iron in blood, a mineral needed for growth and development, to make hemoglobin, myoglobin, and some hormones.
Iron is a necessary ingredient for survival. It is a vital component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that binds and releases oxygen in the lungs and throughout the body. It is required in small amounts to help form normal red blood cells and is a critical part of hemoglobin, the protein in RBCs that binds oxygen in the lungs and releases it as blood circulates to other parts of the body.
By detecting numerous components in the blood, iron test is ordered to determine the quantity of iron in the body. These tests are frequently ordered at the same time, and the data are analyzed together to determine the diagnosis and/or monitor iron deficiency or overload.
Measurement of serum's iron level is useful in the diagnosis of iron deficiency and also in hemochromatosis (excess of iron).