Information on Ferritin
Ferritin is a certain type of protein which is present in the human body in order to store the supplies of iron appropriately and to keep their levels safe. A person needs to undergo a ferritin test every once in a while so that the levels of iron in the body can be checked. A person may have normal levels of iron serum and still suffer from low levels of ferritin. Iron has a very important purpose in the human body as it takes care of transportation of oxygen to all the cells, but still if it is present in high amounts it may even be toxic. This is why the human body stores iron in a much safer form which we refer to as ferritin.
Causes of Low Ferritin Levels
One of the most common causes of low levels of ferritin in the body is actually an insufficient supply of iron. It is a statistically proven fact that only 20 percent of the entire world’s population is not anemic. This is mostly due to unhealthy and imbalanced diets which do not include plenty of food items which are rich in iron. Animal derived foods contain heme which is fairly easy to digest which is not the case with plant based sources of iron. Legumes, various types of grains and rice are the best plant based iron sources. On the other hand, all plant based sources of iron also contain a compound called phytic acid, which is known for severely reducing the absorption of iron. Low iron absorption is another common cause of low levels of ferritin in the body. Absorption of iron may be reduced by various medical conditions such as Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, stomach inflammations and several other gastrointestinal disorders. There are a large number of other medical conditions which may be held responsible for the reduction of ferritin levels in the body and those include colon cancer, stomach cancer, esophagus cancer, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, intra vascular hemolysis, different types of infection, the usage of certain types of medicaments, gastric bleeding, hypothyroidism, heavy menstrual bleeding and even alcohol abuse. Low ferritin levels in children may be triggered by imbalanced diets, vitamin B12 deficiency and certain other medical problems.The symptoms of low ferritin levels include low sex drive, tired eyes, pale skin, brittle nails, dizziness, headaches, irritability and fatigue. The best sources of iron include raisins, whole grain cereals, whole grain breads, wheat germ, kale, collard greens, spinach, eggs, chicken legs, light meat turkey, dark meat turkey, beef chuck, navy beans, lima beans, kidney beans, lentils and chicken livers.