How to test your Ferritin levels
Ferritin tests used to only be available as a laboratory blood test via a Doctor. Now a home or self test kit that measures the amount of ferritin in a person's blood stream is available.
What is Ferritin?
Ferritin is the major iron storage protein in the body, so a ferritin test is done as an indirect way to measure the iron stores in the body.
If a ferritin test reveals that your blood ferritin level is lower than normal, it indicates your body's iron stores are low and you have iron deficiency. This is often associated with anaemia.
If a ferritin test shows higher than normal levels, it could indicate that you have a condition that causes your body to store too much iron.
Iron deficiency is far commoner than too much iron.
What are the symptoms of low ferritin?
- unexplained fatigue.
- chronic headaches.
- unexplained weakness.
- ringing in your ears.
- leg pains.
- shortness of breath.
The results of a blood ferritin test in general, normal healthy adults range from 12 to 300 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) for males and 12 to 150 ng/mL for females.
Why are Ferritin tests often performed with thyroid function tests ?
Adequate iron and ferritin levels are required to activate thyroid hormones, so levels that are low can contribute to weight gain. Many symptoms that are attributed to anaemia, such as fatigue and sensitivity to cold, also can be seen in patients with low thyroid hormone levels. Clinically they can be associated and difficult to differentiate without testing blood levels.