What is ferritin and why does it matter?
What does ferritin level depend on?
Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body. It is found in all cells, but is most concentrated in the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Blood ferritin levels can be used to assess iron stores. Low ferritin means your body doesn’t have enough iron to store. This can lead to iron deficiency anemia, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and pale skin. High ferritin levels can mean that the body has too much spare iron.
This may be a symptom of a condition called hemochromatosis, which is a genetic condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron from food. Ferritin levels can also be elevated by inflammation. Inflammation can cause ferritin levels to rise even if the body does not have much iron to spare. The normal level of ferritin in the blood varies depending on age, gender and health. However, as a general rule, levels below 12 ng/mL are considered low, levels between 12 and 300 ng/mL are considered normal, and levels above 300 ng/mL are considered high.
If someone has been diagnosed with iron deficiency or haemochromatosis, your doctor may want you to check your ferritin levels regularly.
Here are some of the factors that can affect ferritin levels:
- Age – Ferritin levels tend to be lower in children and higher in adults.
- Gender – Women typically have lower ferritin levels than men.
- Pregnancy – ferritin levels may increase during pregnancy.
- Diet – A diet low in iron can cause ferritin levels to drop.
- Health conditions: some conditions, such as hemochromatosis, can cause ferritin levels to rise.
- Medications – Certain medications, such as antacids, can interfere with iron absorption and cause ferritin levels to drop.
On the pharmaceutical market, we will not buy drugs that directly increase the level of ferritin. We only have an impact on increasing the level of iron, the importance of which has already been mentioned on our website.