Optimal Result: 30 - 400 µg/dL, 5.37 - 71.60 µmol/L, 30.00 - 400.00 ng/mL, or 30.00 - 400.00 ug/L.

Our bodies rely on iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen everywhere. Without enough iron, our red blood cells are unable to efficiently supply oxygen. Ferritin is a blood cell protein that holds iron and releases it in controlled intervals. It is produced by every cell in the body, but is found most commonly in the liver, spleen, skeletal muscles, and bone marrow. A ferritin blood test checks the amount of ferritin in the blood, which shows how much iron is stored in your body. A healthcare professional might order a ferritin blood test to:

- Find the cause of anemia, especially iron deficiency anemia

- See if inflammation is present

- See if too much iron is present (hemochromatosis)

- Check if iron treatment to raise or lower the iron level is working 

Normal Ranges in ng/mL:

0-1 month: 25-200 
1-2 months: 200-600 
2-5 months: 50-200 
6 months- 14 years: 10-140 
Adult male: 24-336 
Adult female: 11- 307

What does it mean if your Ferritin result is too low?

Low ferritin levels often mean an iron deficiency is present. This can be caused by chronic blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding, pregnancy, insufficient iron in the body, or bleeding in the intestinal tract (from ulcers, colon polyps, colon cancer, or hemorrhoids). Another common cause of low blood ferritin is iron deficiency anemia, symptoms include:

- Chronic fatigue / tiredness

- Weakness

- Dizziness

- Headaches

- Pale skin

- Ringing in the ears

- Leg pains

- Shortness of breath

What does it mean if your Ferritin result is too high?

Hemochromatosis, a large buildup of iron in the body, can cause a very high ferritin blood level. In individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis, the daily absorption of iron from the intestines is greater than the amount needed to replace losses. Since the normal body cannot increase iron excretion, the absorbed iron accumulates in the body.  The excess iron deposits in the joints, liver, testicles, and heart, which causes damage to these organs and results in signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis.  Some other diseases like alcoholism, thalassemia, and some types of anemia that cause red blood cells to be destroyed can also lead to hemochromatosis. High ferritin levels may also be caused by Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, infection, inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis or lupus), or a diet that is too high in iron. Symptoms of iron overload may include:

- Joint pain

- Fatigue / weakness

- Weight loss

- Lack of energy

- Abdominal pain

- Loss of sex drive

- Loss of body hair

- Heart problems such as congestive heart failure

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