WHAT TESTS ARE NEEDED TO OBTAIN A DIAGNOSIS?
There are 3 tests that together make up the Iron Panel Test. These tests look at serum ferritin, Total iron binding capacity, and serum iron. These tests need to be taken as a panel, not independently, to receive a comprehensive and accurate assessment of a potential Hemochromatosis diagnosis.
SERUM IRON (SI)
This test is best conducted after fasting for at least three hours. Also, iron or vitamin C supplements should be discontinued at least three days before taking the test. Do not discontinue other medication unless your doctor tells you to.
SERUM FERRITIN (SF)
This test measures the amount of iron contained or stored in the body. Serum ferritin reference ranges are different for adults and children. For adults, the ideal range is 50-150 ng/ml.
TOTAL IRON BINDING CAPACITY (TIBC)
This test tells how well your body can bind to iron. Serum iron divided by TIBC x 100% gives you important information about the transferrin-iron saturation percentage (TS%). TS% is usually 25-35%; in some people with iron overload, the TS% is very high. There are other types of iron overload where the TS% is normal.
In the past, liver biopsy was widely used to diagnose hemochromatosis. Today, liver biopsy is not necessary to diagnose the inherited form of HHC. DNA tests are available to determine if a person has genetic hemochromatosis.
ORDER IRON TESTS ONLINE
Health-e-Iron, a partner of ironitout.org offers a quick and confidential way to order your iron tests online. Ironitout.org recommends and endorses the tests offered through Health e-Iron. Ironitout.org
Simply order your iron tests by clicking on the button below.
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Ironitout.org recommends and endorses these tests offered through Health e-Iron. We’ve found it to be the most affordable and comprehensive test on the market. Researched info. used with permission from IDI.
$149 for CWP and Iron Panel
$64 Iron Panel only
‘I unknowingly began poisoning my husband’
HAEMOCHROMATOSIS AWARENESS BY LOCAL RESIDENT, SUZY MAKIN
Fatigue, arthritis, diabetes, cirrhosis, bronzing of the skin, abdominal pain and cardiomyopathy.
These can all be caused by undiagnosed, untreated iron overload or genetic haemochromatosis (GH). Iron builds up over time damaging vital organs and joints and causing any combination of symptoms.
Although GH is one of the most common conditions in Britain, our story is rare in the sense that Graham was diagnosed early. His only symptom at the time was extreme fatigue; I went to the pharmacy for various tonics containing iron and vitamin C. And so I unknowingly began poisoning my husband – iron is toxic to someone with genetic haemochromatosis and in addition vitamin C increases the absorption of the iron.
It was later, whilst investigating an unrelated issue, that his iron levels were found to be high and he was diagnosed with GH.
We joined The Haemochromatosis Society and also the North West GH Support Group where we learnt so much. Through these groups, we met far too many people that were diagnosed late – many with serious symptoms who have had to endure hip and knee replacements, liver transplants, insulin dependence, and so on.
All this made me realise how fortunate we had been that Graham had been diagnosed early, and made me determined to try to ensure that more people are diagnosed early too. I began visiting local pharmacists, educating them on the danger of recommending these tonics without checking iron levels.
After visiting 50 Pharmacists I realised that this was not practical – I would never be able to reach every pharmacist alone. I then approached the Local Pharmacy Committees who agreed to publish articles in their newsletters.
Meanwhile Graham was having weekly venesections (blood lettings) until his iron levels were reduced to a safe level. Also, as this is a genetic condition, Graham had to inform his close relatives so that they could be tested.
Since then our “Awareness Campaign” has snowballed. I have joined the Committee of the North West Group and we are getting the message across to other healthcare professionals such as chiropractors and physiotherapists. I’ve organised talks at Carers’ Centres and had articles published in health related magazines.
Graham is doing well. His venesections are now three monthly. His siblings’ and children’s iron levels are at normal levels and they will be regularly monitored. I hope and pray that in the future more people will have the positive outcome Graham has had.
By Suzy Makin
For more information on Hemochromatosis, please click here