Individuals suffering from low ferritin levels may exhibit signs of anemia and other conditions related to iron deficiency, according to Mayo Clinic. Ferritin is a protein that binds with iron and allows the body to store iron in the blood.
Ferritin levels are the amount of ferritin in the blood related to the amount of iron stored in the body, according to MedlinePlus. Ferritin levels are measured to identify likely causes of anemia, detect inflammation, or to determine whether there is excess iron in the body.
Some issues that raise ferritin levels in the body are hereditary hemochromatosis and alcoholic liver disease, according to MedlinePlus. Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and some forms of cancer, also cause high ferritin levels, notes MedicineNet.
Patients can lower ferritin levels in the bloodstream by donating blood, consuming calcium-rich foods, undergoing iron chelation therapy, drinking coffee or tea and limiting vitamin C supplementation at mealtimes, according to the Iron Disorders Institute. Elevated ferritin levels may occur because
A normal ferritin level for men ranges from 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter, notes MedlinePlus. Ferritin is a protein involved in iron storage. Medical professionals use the ferritin test as an indirect measure of how much iron is in the blood.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lower than normal ferritin levels are indicative that someone has an iron deficiency. Ferritin is a blood cell protein that contains iron.
Iron deficiency, either through lack of iron in the diet or absorption issues, causes low ferritin, B-12 and iron levels, according to Mayo Clinic. Other vitamins, such as B-12, C, folate and zinc, assist in more efficient iron absorption, according to the Iron Disorders Institute.
A ferritin blood test measures the level of ferritine in the body, explains MedicineNet. As ferritin is the major iron storage protein in the body, ferritin blood tests can indirectly measure iron levels. No special preparation is required before the blood test.
High ferritin levels can cause physical symptoms such as stomach pain, joint pain, heart palpitations, chest pain, and unexplained weakness or fatigue, according to Healthline. A surplus of ferritin in the body can be a sign of certain health conditions.
A blood level of 12 to 150 nanograms per milliliter of blood is a normal reading for a ferritin test in women, while 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter in males is normal, notes MedicineNet. Normal ranges vary between laboratories. A ferritin blood test evaluates the body’s stores of iron.