Ferritin or ferritin analysis to check iron stores and their results

Ferritin or ferritin analysis to check iron stores and their results


If you go to the doctor and feel some symptoms such as tiredness, fatigue, general weakness and other symptoms of anemia, the doctor may ask you: Ferritin analysis What is this analysis and what are its normal and abnormal results? You will find in this article.

What is ferritin?

Some people might mistake ferritin for iron, but they are not the same thing. Ferritin is a protein in the blood that stores iron in the body. The measurement of the level of ferritin is an indicator of the amount of iron in the blood, regardless of whether it is at normal values, when it is deficient or exceeded.

What is a ferritin analysis?

Also called serum ferritin test, it is a blood test based on taking a blood sample and analyzing the level of ferritin in it. The doctor may order it in addition to other tests to analyze the level of iron in the blood if they suspect iron deficiency or excess, both of which are causing the disease.

Indications for a ferritin test

There are several cases in which this analysis may be required, and not only for anemia, as follows:

Symptoms of deficiency or excess of ferritin

There are many symptoms similar to those of anemia that you may have, and accordingly your doctor will order a ferritin test. Symptoms of ferritin deficiency include:

  • Inexplicable fatigue.
  • continuous headache.
  • general weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Tinnitus
  • breathing difficulties.
  • leg pain

As for the high level of ferritin in the blood, symptoms include:

  • stomach pain.
  • palpitations or chest pain;
  • Joint pain;
  • Fatigue and weakness for no apparent reason.
  • Decreased sexual desire.
  • Weight loss.

Preparation for ferritin

Some believe that a ferritin test requires fasting. However, this is not the case most of the time; If you only have a ferritin test, you may not need to wean off any food or stimulants, but if you do other tests, your doctor may ask you to fast. It is also preferable to wear comfortable clothing with wide sleeves so that the blood sample can be drawn easily.

How is ferritin analyzed?

Collection of the sample usually takes a few minutes as the doctor or lab technician cleans the skin around the area from which he will take the sample with alcohol and then inserts a needle into a vein to draw blood, or he can wrap a small tie around your arm so he can show the vein and then take. He will then withdraw the needle and the blood will stop within a few minutes.

Are there any risks with a ferritin test?

There are no known risks, however, as with all blood tests, there may be minor side effects that go away within a few minutes, such as:

  • Dizziness and fainting.
  • Swelling or bruising under the skin.
  • Mild pain where the needle was placed.

Ferritin analysis results

Results usually appear after a few days or depending on the laboratory where the analysis is performed, here the normal rates are as follows:

natural ferritin analysis

  • In men: 20 to 250 ng/ml.
  • For women 18 to 39 years old: 10 to 120 ng/ml.
  • For women age 40 and older: 12 to 263 ng/ml.
  • Newborns: 25 to 200 ng/ml.
  • For babies 5 months old: 50 to 200 ng/ml.
  • For children 6 months to 15 years: 7 to 140 ng/ml.

High ferritin analysis

If the results are higher than normal, this could mean one of the following conditions:

Low ferritin analysis

The reduction compared to the normal tariff is indicated for:

  • Iron deficiency anemia.
  • Use of antacids or anti-inflammatory drugs can lower ferritin levels.

What affects the test result?

There are many things that can affect the outcome of an investigation, including:

  • Excessive intake of iron-rich foods such as meat, vegetables and legumes rich in fiber and drink plenty of milk.
  • Take iron supplements.
  • Donate blood regularly.
  • Run long distances regularly.

Other tests your doctor may order

In addition to analyzing ferritin levels, there are several tests your doctor may order, including:

  • Iron tests to measure the amount of iron and the protein transferrin, which transports ferritin into cells.
  • Hemoglobin analysis, used to measure the number of red blood cells.
  • Analysis of the hemochromatosis gene in this hereditary disease.
  • Zinc protoporphyrin test for iron deficiency or lead poisoning.

Finally, you don’t have to worry about your doctor asking for a ferritin test, as it is a routine test often used to detect iron-induced anemia and ferritin deficiency can be easily treated.


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