Thyroid UK
82,813 members97,844 posts

Iron tests. Doctor vs private test

I had a blood test at the docs about a month ago and it showed my ferritin to be 53 (13 - 150) and my haemoglobin was 124 (115 - 160).

I have just had a fingerprint iron panel done with a private online company (not sure if I can use names) and these were the results:

Fe 69.52 (13 - 150)

Tibc 44.87 ( 41 - 77)

Transferrin saturation % 59.88 (23 - 55)

Iron 26.87 (6.6 - 26.0)

I'm a little confused as to what this all means and if anyone can help I'd appreciate it. I'm also confused at the big difference between docs test and private test as they were only a month apart and I hadn't really been supplementing (bearing in mind it's taken me 1.5 yrs of solid supplementing to raise my Fe 20pts).

Many thanks in advance


10 Replies

Your ferritin range is really narrow. What country are you in?

In the UK ferritin ranges are normally something like 6-200, 15-150, 6- 150 etc.

Also if you had an iron panel do you have a haemoglobin result? It may be under haemoglobin estimate. If you do edit your post and put it in with the range.


You're right.. I had missed out a 1. Its 13 - 150! Thankyou for noticing!!

I don't have a haemoglobin result from this test although I do have one from the previous test. It is 124 (115 - 160).


Are you supplementing? If you are, what are you supplementing with and how many tablets are you taking per day?


I wasn't supplementing for 2 wks prior to the test. Before that I had been taking solar gentle iron 50mg per day with 500 mg vit c.


Sorry for the questions I was looking at this -

Simply because your results are strange.

I've seen from your previous posts that your B12, folate and vitamin D are all fine so you don't have malnutrition.

You should be aware that ferritin levels rise in cases of inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

Do you have any other autoimmune diseases, or is there a history of some other autoimmune/inflammatory diseases in your family?


Thanks very much for posting that link. It appears from that that I have been taking too much. I'm glad I decided to get the full iron panel done because if I had been purely going by ferritin alone then I would have just kept supplementing. Thanks again for your post.


You mentioned not supplementing for two weeks before the test. Was that before both tests or just one of them?

The thing about any iron-related testing is that it should be done

a) First thing in the morning.

b) Fasting except for water.

c) If you are comparing two different tests you would have to have given up supplementing for the same amount of time before each one, but since your tests appear to have been done fairly close together, that wouldn't really work in this case.

Read what it says about iron blood testing on these two links - and notice that they don't exactly agree.

And for info on suggested optimal values for iron testing see this link :


Thanks for those links. I had been looking for them. I had the same conditions before each test (I.e no supps for 2 wks) but I did not fast in the morning as I didn't realise it was necessary.

I haven't got a clue why the values would be so different but I guess I'm going to have to test again to be sure. This disease costs so much money!!😐

Thanks again.


I don't think you need to test again - at least not yet.

Take a look at this link, read the blurb and look at the table at the bottom.

I can't find anything which matches your mix of low in range or under range, normal, or high in range/over the range results exactly so it makes me wonder if you have a combination of a couple of different problems.

I think you need to be very careful about supplementing iron. Your serum iron is already over range. I have come across someone on HU before who was supplementing iron, little or none of it was going into ferritin, it was all going into serum iron. She was getting poisoned by the iron, and became very ill.

One possible cause for her problem was having issues with methylating. Look into MTHFR. Sorry, I can't help with methylation problems, it is beyond me. Dr Myhill has some easy to read info on the subject on her website :

I'm not saying you have a methylation problem (it can only be confirmed by getting genetic testing as far as I know), it is just something that might be relevant.

One thing that has just occurred to me. How long a gap was there between you pricking your fingers and the lab receiving the blood? If there was a long gap then the results are suspect. All blood samples should be posted the same day they are produced, and sent "guaranteed next day delivery by 1pm". It should also be posted only on days Monday - Thursday, never on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.


Thanks Humanbean. Theres some really helpful links there for me to look at. I have stopped supplementing now as I really want to know what is going on before I make any moves. I believe i may well have mthfr mutation and I am waiting for my results from 23&me so I can put it through some engines and see what comes back. Would explain quite a few things.

The sample was returned same day and results received 2 days later so I think all was ok with that.

Once again, thankyou for your help and for letting me pick your brains. Much appreciated.


1 like

You may also like...