Patients often wonder if they have anaemia and what their pathology results actually mean.

Whilst this article is not meant to replace an appointment with your healthcare practitioner or serve as a diagnostic tool, it may be helpful to get an understanding of the basic parameters covered in iron study tests, given that iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia.

Test results should always be considered in conjunction with symptoms and physical examination findings.

Before we jump into pathology, it is useful to know how to get the most accurate test results.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BLOOD TEST RESULTS

Your test results should always be interpreted by a trained healthcare professional, but it helps to understand the basics of what your test results mean.

Ferritin– this is our iron storage depot in our liver. Ferritin provides an indication of how much iron your body is storing.

Transferrin– is a protein that helps carry iron (and other divalent minerals and heavy metals) around the body. Think of it like a tram that iron rides around on. Transferrin helps transport iron from the liver out to the tissues. It reflects your body’s hunger for iron.

Transferrin saturation %– this measures the number of seats on the tram taken up by iron and reflects your ability to deliver iron out to the tissues.

CRP (C-reactive protein) is an inflammatory marker and may indicate pseudo iron deficiency.

Always consult with a healthcare practitioner if you suspect you may be getting low in iron before taking iron supplements to avoid iron toxicity and nutritional imbalances.

We can help identify the possible causes of your iron deficiency and help prevent you from being sidelined from your sport in the future. As a general rule of thumb, athletes who have experienced low iron in the past, should consider getting their iron checked every 3-6 months.

Take our free online anaemia quiz here

Make an appointment to discuss testing or your health concerns here

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