Ferritin Blood Test
The Ferritin Blood Test measures ferritin levels in the blood to help screen for and monitor iron-related conditions.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Ferritin Blood Test to measure ferritin levels in the blood to help screen for an iron deficiency or overload that may cause severe health conditions. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron inside the cells. The body needs iron to produce healthy red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Iron is also essential for maintaining the overall health of muscles, bone marrow, and organs, including neurological development in children. Since the body releases small trace amounts of ferritin into the blood after it converts iron, this Ferritin Blood Test may be used to show the total amount of iron stored in the body.
Additionally, individuals may order this test to:
- Assist in diagnosing or screening for conditions related to iron levels, such as:
- Hemochromatosis, or iron overload, is characterized by having too much iron in your body.
- Iron deficiency anemia is when the body produces inadequate red blood cells because of a lack of iron.
- Liver diseases (in these conditions, much of the ferritin is stored in the liver.)
- Restless legs syndrome is a tingling or burning feeling in the legs because of a lack of iron.
- Adult Still disease (also called adult-onset Still disease or AOSD) is a rare disease that causes joint pain, fever, and rash, accompanied by high ferritin levels.
- Monitor chronic or recurring conditions that affect iron levels, such as cancer, kidney disease, and autoimmune disorders.
When should I order a Ferritin Blood Test?
Individuals may order a Ferritin Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms associated with iron deficiency or iron overload. Common signs or symptoms of an iron deficiency may include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Restless leg syndrome
- Increased or irregular heart rate
- Unusual cravings for non-food items like ice, clay, soil, or paper
In addition, signs or symptoms of an iron overload may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Joint pain, mainly in the knees or hands
- Low sex drive
- Abdominal pain
- Pale skin
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