What Does Ferritin Do in the Body?


Quick Answer

Ferritin is a protein in the body's cells that is responsible for the storage of iron, according to Healthline. Cells irelease ferritin when they receive a signal that the body needs more red blood cells. The ferritin binds to another substance called transferrin, which carries the ferritin to where the body is building new red blood cells. The ferritin level laboratory test can help a doctor determine if a patient's level of stored iron is too high or too low.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of a low ferritin level include unexplained fatigue or weakness, shortness of breath, chronic headaches, dizziness or ringing in the ears, states Healthline. Ferritin levels that are too high may cause chest pain or heart palpitations, pain in the stomach or joints, or unexplained weakness or fatigue. A ferritin level test is a helpful tool for monitoring a patient's overall health, especially patients with iron-related conditions.

A low ferritin level can indicate that a patient has iron deficiency or anemia, which may be the result of excessive menstrual bleeding, internal bleeding or a problem with absorption in the patient's intestines, according to Healthline. High ferritin levels may be the result of conditions such as hemochromatosis, liver disease, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis or Type 2 diabetes.

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