What happens if you have a low ferritin level?


Quick Answer

If an individual has a low ferritin level, the individual has an iron deficiency that can be caused by a variety of conditions, according to WebMD. The individual should consult a doctor to determine the cause in order to discern the appropriate treatment, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

A low ferritin level is likely due to chronic blood loss caused by intestinal tract bleeding, lack of iron in the diet, heavy menstrual bleeding or pregnancy, according to WebMD. Rarely, the iron levels can be decreased by iron loss through urine or the skin. A low ferritin level can also be caused by iron-deficiency anemia or intestinal disorders that hinder the absorption of iron, according to MedlinePlus.

The normal range of blood ferritin is 24 to 336 nanograms per milliliter for men, and 11 to 307 nanograms per milliliter for women, according to Mayo Clinic. The amount of iron in the body is shown by how much ferritin is in the blood. The amount of ferritin in the blood is determined by a ferritin blood test.

Ferritin is a protein that binds to iron in the body, according to Mayo Clinic. Ferritin is located in the spleen, skeletal muscles, liver, bone marrow and blood.

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