The haemoglobin supplies the body with nearly about 70% of its iron requirement and the remaining 30% is stored as ferritin or hemosiderin, which is present in liver, bone marrow, spleen and skeletal muscles. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the cells. Ferritin binds to another protein called transferrin to transport iron wherever it is needed in the body. Apart from circulating iron, stored iron is also important as the iron levels deplete very quickly in the body if ferritin is inadequate in the body. Therefore, Ferritin serum test measures ferritin levels in the blood.

Why is the Ferritin test ordered?

Ferritin test may be ordered to determine anaemia, which may be due to iron deficiency and to check inflammation. The test may also be ordered to know whether excess iron (hemochromatosis) is present.

When is the test ordered?

A ferritin serum test may be ordered when a physician suspects iron deficiency anaemia owing to the following signs and symptoms:
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Chronic headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Paleness
  • Leg pain.
  • The test may also be recommended when high ferritin levels are suspected. The symptoms associated with high ferritin levels include
    • Unexplained fatigue
    • Stomach pain
    • Joint pain
    • Chest pain
    • Heart palpitations.
    • How is the sample collected?

      A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.

      How to prepare for the test?

      No special preparations are required for the test.

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