Ferritin is a protein that helps in binding iron in the body. A red blood cell carries oxygen around the body and needs iron for the formation. Other parts of the body that need iron are bone marrow, liver, and muscles.
Low levels of ferritin in the body lead to anemia which simply means that the person has few red blood cells. The symptoms of low levels of ferritin include
Pain in legs
Ringing sensation in the ears
A high level may cause damage to the organs such as the liver and spleen. Too much amount of iron in the body may also lead to rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease, and hyperthyroidism. The symptoms of high levels of ferritin include
Why get tested?
The test is performed to check the levels of ferritin in the blood after treatment for iron deficiency.
A doctor may advise for a ferritin blood test if the patient is diagnosed with symptoms such as
Blood in the stool
Shortness of breath or chest pain
Loss of hair
Heavy menstrual cycles
Bleeding in the digestive tract
Extreme tiredness and dizziness
The doctor may also advise this test to the children who eat a lot of ice, and for babies who drink too much quantity of whole’s cow milk.
Fasting at least 10-12 hours before the test is required.
It is important to inform the doctor about the medications that are being taken by the patient.
Restrict the consumption of alcohol for at least 12-48 hours before taking the test.