Ferritin is one of the proteins that affects iron metabolism. It is responsible for storing iron in certain cells in the body so that iron is available when it is needed. High levels of ferritin in the blood can be a sign that something is wrong with your body.
Most ferritin is found in the liver, but it is also present in the bloodstream to some extent. When the amount of ferritin in the blood is measured in a person, the amount of iron in his body can also be assessed in the light of this information. After all, iron is essential for us so that red blood cell hemoglobin can combine with oxygen and transport it to all the cells in the body.
In this article, we will tell you what the symptoms of high ferritin levels in the body cause, as well as how the levels can be lowered.
What does high ferritin mean?
As we already mentioned, ferritin is a protein that allows us to store iron in our cells. When its concentration in the blood is measured, we find out whether our iron stores are high, low or at normal levels.
In men, blood ferritin levels should normally be 12 to 300 nanograms / milliliter. In women, the normal level is 12-150 ng / ml. This difference is due to the fact that women lose a significant amount of iron during menstruation.
A high ferritin content means that the iron level is also high – higher than it should be. This can be due to a number of different reasons, including liver disease. Other things that can cause it are:
- Drinking too much or too often.
- Inflammatory processes in the body. These can be caused by many diseases, such as cancer.
- Highly ironic diet.
- Anemia. This reason is complex. When the body is deficient in iron, the body can try to correct it by increasing the amount of ferritin in the bloodstream and thus the amount of iron available.
- Macrophage activation syndrome. This is a condition in which some immune cells called macrophages are more active than normal. They are cells that also store ferritin.
- Lastly, we cannot ignore the fact that an individual’s ferritin level also depends on genetic factors. For example, there is a hereditary disease called hemochromatosis, which develops when iron is accumulated in the body.
How high can ferritin levels be lowered?
The first thing is to get a diagnosis from a healthcare professional, i.e., the certainty that it is a high level of ferritin. Different options for treating the condition can then be discussed with your doctor.
Some lifestyle and dietary changes can cause ferritin levels to drop. First, efforts should be made to reduce the consumption of some ferrous foods, such as spinach, liver and red meat.
In addition, doctors often recommend eating chelated foods. Chelates are substances that combine with metals in the blood, such as iron, to help them get out of the body.
If these dietary changes do not produce results, the patient may need to have a phlebotomy, or boat section. It is a procedure in which blood is taken from a patient, much in the same way as in blood donation. The procedure may need to be performed several times to lower ferritin levels. In addition, regular blood tests are needed to test ferritin levels and assess the patient’s health.
It is important to remember that we should have regular medical check-ups, which also include blood tests. With this simple procedure, we can learn about many important things about our own health, such as iron and ferritin levels.