Ferritin Blood Test
A ferritin blood test is a laboratory test that measures the level of ferritin in the blood. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the body, and the test is used to measure the amount of iron stored in the body’s tissues.
The test is typically ordered when a healthcare provider suspects that a person may have an iron deficiency or iron overload. Iron deficiency is a common condition that can cause fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms, while iron overload can cause damage to the liver and other organs.
During the test, a small sample of blood is taken from a vein in the arm and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The normal range for ferritin levels in the blood varies depending on age, gender, and other factors, but typically falls between 12 and 300 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) in adults.
Low ferritin levels may indicate the presence of iron deficiency, which can be caused by a variety of factors including poor diet, gastrointestinal bleeding, or certain medical conditions. Treatment for iron deficiency typically involves iron supplements and dietary changes.
High ferritin levels may indicate the presence of iron overload, which can be caused by genetic disorders (such as hemochromatosis) or other medical conditions. Treatment for iron overload may involve phlebotomy (blood removal) to reduce the amount of iron in the body, and/or medication to prevent further iron accumulation.
It is important to note that the ferritin blood test is only one component of a comprehensive evaluation of iron status, and further testing (such as a complete blood count and iron studies) may be required to diagnose or monitor certain medical conditions. A healthcare provider can interpret the results of a ferritin blood test in the context of the individual’s medical history and other test results, and develop an appropriate treatment plan if necessary.
This page is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the provision of medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice regarding any of the tests and conditions referenced above are advised to consult with a licensed clinician. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider regarding a medical condition and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information on this page. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.
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