What is TIBC?
In the body, iron is bound to the protein transferrin, as iron can be poisonous in its free, unbound state. TIBC measures the capacity of the transferrin molecules to take up more iron.
Generally speaking, if your iron level is low, your TIBC will be high. For that reason, iron level and TIBC are usually measured together to give a better picture of your iron status.
Conversely, if your iron level are quite high, but your TIBC is low, then excess iron may float around unbound, which can cause damage to your body.
What can cause it to change?
Your TIBC value is linked to your iron level, so if you have iron deficiency, your TIBC is likely to be high. As your iron level normalises, then so should your TIBC.
Taking the oral contraceptive pill can cause slightly raised TIBC.
What can I do to change my levels?
Because TIBC is an indication of your iron level, you may avoid a high TIBC value by ensuring you’re getting enough iron through your diet and that you are not experiencing loss of blood.