Any other names for this test?
Serum Ferritin, Ferritin level, Ferritin serum
What is a Ferritin test?
A ferritin test
helps to determine the amount of ferritin in your blood. Ferritin is a protein that keeps iron within your cells. Iron is an essential element for the healthy production of red blood cells. The function of red blood cells is to transfer oxygen supply from your lungs to the parts of your body. Iron is significant for muscles, organs, bone marrow, and brain development. High or low levels of iron in your body link to low blood ferritin levels that may lead to severe diseases if left untreated.
What is the purpose of this test?
A ferritin test
measures the total amount of iron possessed in your body. This test may identify the following conditions:
- A deficiency of iron leads to Anemia, a disease of low levels of red blood cells in your blood.
- Hemochromatosis - A condition of iron overloading means a large quantity of iron in your body.
- Liver diseases (A large amount of ferritin is present in your liver).
- A tingling or inflamed feeling in your legs because of iron deficiency.
- An adult still disease (also known as adult-onset Still disease, or AOSD). It is not a common disease that may lead to joint pain, fever, and rash with high ferritin levels.
You may also need to take a ferritin blood test when you already have a disorder of high iron levels in your body. The long-term conditions that may affect your iron levels include kidney, cancer, and autoimmune disease. Your provider may suggest this test to observe your current health conditions and give you treatment.
When do I need a ferritin test?
Your healthcare provider recommends the ferritin blood test if they think you may have high or low levels of iron in your body. Symptoms of low iron levels
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Arrhythmia (A disturbance in the rate or process of your heartbeat)
- Bleeding in your digestive system
- Losing hair
- Brittle nails
- Blood in the stool
The use of ice in children and cow’s milk in babies may also need to take this test.
Following are signs and symptoms of high iron levels
that may cause several diseases:
What is the method for the ferritin blood test?
- Lose power in sex or if you experience erectile dysfunction. It is a condition in which difficulty arises to get and maintain an erection.
- Pain in the abdomen
- Skin color turn gray or bronze
- Pain in the joints, specifically in the knees or hands
Your provider will ask for a blood sample for this test. You can place an online order
for the ferritin test
. Visit the laboratory you have selected.
Following are the steps of this test:
How do I need to prepare for this test?
- Sit in front of your provider and remove your part of the cloth from one arm.
- Your provider will insert a small needle into the vein in your arm.
- A small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
- Your blood sample will keep at the laboratory for examination.
- Daily activities can start after the test.
- This test generally takes five minutes.
A ferritin blood test
does not require specific preparation. Your provider may ask if you use medicines, vitamins, and supplements. You may need to fast if your provider asks for additional blood tests. You may provide specific instructions by seeing your medical history.
What are the risks of this test?
A ferritin blood test has low risks. You may experience slight pain when your provider injects a needle into your veins. Some risks may include
What do the ferritin test results mean?
- Low bleeding
- lightheaded feeling
The ferritin test results may vary on age, gender, medical history, and other factors. The test results may differ slightly among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for examination. You may consult
a healthcare provider to get information about your ferritin test result
The recommended range for blood ferritin in men and women is 24 to 336 micrograms per liter and 11 to 307 micrograms per liter, respectively. Low ferritin levels
than recommended can indicate a deficiency of iron. You may also experience anemia disease. Anemia is a disease in which your body does not develop the required red blood cells. If left untreated, it may result in heart disease, infections, reduction in the growth, development of the brain in infants, and other problems.
Low iron levels
may generally occur due to long-term blood loss in adults. The other conditions include in which you may lose a large amount of iron are:
High ferritin levels
- Ulcers or tumors in your gastrointestinal system.
- Internal bleeding
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
may show the following conditions in your body.
- Liver disease
- Leukemia - cancer of blood cells
- Heart problems
- Hyperthyroidism - a condition in which your thyroid produces high thyroid hormones.
- Alcohol disorder
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple blood transfusions (Frequent blood donation)
- Intake of a large number of iron supplements
- Porphyria - A combination of diseases that occurs due to enzyme deficiency. It affects your skin and nervous system.
Iron poisoning develops if you use large amounts of iron supplements once at a time.
What factors may affect the test results?
If the ferritin test
results are not in the recommended range, your provider will ask for other tests. Specific medicines may affect your test results if you do not have any medical conditions. Foods that contain high amounts of iron, including iron supplements, leafy vegetables, and meat, can also increase or decrease iron levels. You can discuss your ferritin levels with a provider.
What additional tests may I need to conduct along with the ferritin test?
Your provider may also order additional blood tests that include:
- Serum iron level determines the amount of iron in the serum or liquid part of your blood.
- Hemoglobin and hematocrit determine the number of red blood cells.
- Complete blood count (CBC) observe many types of cells in your blood
- Zinc protoporphyrin helps to see iron deficiency.
- HFE gene test uses to look for hemochromatosis.
- Total iron binding capacity (TIBC) - This test helps to measure the amount of transferrin in your blood.