Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body. A ferritin test measures the amount of ferritin in your blood. The test helps determine if you have an iron deficiency or an overload. This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about the ferritin test, including how to do it, and what the results mean.
What is a Ferritin Test?
A ferritin test is a blood test that measures the level of ferritin in your body. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in your cells. Iron is a mineral your body needs to make hemoglobin, a substance in cells in the blood that transports oxygen through your lungs to your other organs.
If you don’t have enough iron, you can’t make hemoglobin and may develop anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue, pale skin, and shortness of breath. A ferritin test can help determine whether you have iron deficiency anemia or another type of anemia.
Depending on your age and gender, the ferritin levels might vary. In general, the normal range for ferritin levels is:
- Men: 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL)
- Women: 11 to 150 ng/mL
- Children: 20 to 200 ng/mL
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How is a Ferritin Test Done?
A ferritin test is a blood test. A tiny needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm. The drawn blood is taken into a test tube. You can experience a slight sting at the time of drawing the blood. Normally, this process takes about five minutes.
The blood sample is sent to a lab for analysis. The amount of ferritin in your blood will be measured, and results are usually available within a few days.
Symptoms of Low Levels of Ferritin
There are various symptoms of low levels of ferritin, including:
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
You might have iron deficiency anemia or another illness linked to low iron levels if your ferritin levels are lower than usual. A frequent form of anemia, wherein your body does not really produce sufficient red blood cells, is iron deficiency anemia.
On the other hand, if your ferritin levels are higher than normal, the iron level is also higher. It may result in diabetes, cirrhosis, alcohol abuse, liver disease, or heart disease.
You may not need medical attention if your ferritin levels are not average. They may change due to certain medications. Speak with your healthcare professional if you have any queries regarding your results.
The Bottom Line
Ferritin test is a significant test for diagnosing and monitoring iron deficiency and other disorders. If you have any concerns about your iron levels, talk to your doctor about getting a ferritin test.