Ferritin is a protein in the body, especially found in the bone marrow, spleen, skeletal muscles and liver. It is responsible for storing iron in the cells. By binding with iron, ferritin is decreasing the toxicity of iron and enables its transportation to the parts of the body which require iron. The protein binds with non ferrous iron in the body and deposits this iron in ferric state, thus providing normal amount of iron whenever needed.
About Ferritin Test
Normal level of ferritin is expected if the person is healthy, while low and high amount of ferritin suggest there is something wrong going on and the body is suffering from some disorder or disease. Ferritin test is very useful way to determine the level of iron present in the human body and doctors use this test in people with symptoms of anemia or hemochromatosis.
To check the level of ferritin in your blood, you will need to provide blood sample from a vein, which will be tested in a laboratory. This test is one of the safest there are and people should not be afraid or worried about it. There are very few risks involved in ferritin test. Some patients may have trouble when it comes to giving blood samples, especially if their veins are hardly visible or very small in size. Other problems that rarely occur are excessive bleeding after giving blood samples or accumulation of blood under the skin. In extremely small number of cases, patients may experience infection because of the puncture spot on the skin. Although highly unlikely, people may experience lightheadedness or even fainting because of ferritin test.
Ferritin Levels – Normal, Low and High
How much ferritin is normal depends on your gender and age. For adult men normal ferritin level is somewhere between 12 and 300 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), while adult women may expect their ferritin to be from 12 to 150 ng/mL. Ferritin level for children depends on the age group, so if they are 1 to 5 years old, their ferritin should be 6 to 24 ng/mL. For children between 5 and 9 years of age ferritin test should show 10 to 55 ng of ferritin per mL, while children older than 9 years of age should have up to 200 ng/mL of ferritin.
If the result of your ferritin test shows value lower than the normal range, you do not have sufficient amount of iron in the body. It might happen because of heavy menstruation, pregnancy, anemia, some bleeding in the body (hemorrhoids, ulcers, digestive tract bleeding, etc.), colon cancer or even psoriasis.High results of ferritin test may be caused by arthritis, blood transfusions, inflammatory conditions, alcoholism, thalassemia, leukemia, liver or Hodgkin’s diseases or hemochromatosis.