Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Ferritin

    Results

    A ferritin blood test checks the amount of ferritin in the blood. Ferritin is a protein in the body that binds to iron; most of the iron stored in the body is bound to ferritin. The amount of ferritin found in the blood is the same amount that is in the body.

    Normal

    The normal values listed here-called a reference range-are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

    Ferritin 1
    Men:

    18-270 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or 18-270 micrograms per liter (mcg/L)

    Women:

    18-160 ng/mL or 18-160 mcg/L

    Children:

    7-140 ng/mL or 7-140 mcg/L

    Babies 1 to 5 months:

    50-200 ng/mL or 50-200 mcg/L

    Newborns:

    25-200 ng/mL or 25-200 mcg/L

    High values

    • Very high ferritin levels (greater than 1,000 ng/mL) can mean a large buildup of iron in the body (hemochromatosis). One form of this condition is passed on in families (genetic hemochromatosis). Some diseases, including alcoholism, thalassemia, and some types of anemia that cause red blood cells to be destroyed, can also cause hemochromatosis. Also, if you have many blood transfusions, this can sometimes cause the body to store too much iron (acquired hemochromatosis).
    • High ferritin levels may also be caused by Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, infection, inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis or lupus), or a diet that is too high in iron.
    • Too much iron in body organs, such as the pancreas or heart, can affect how the organ works.

    Low values

    Low ferritin levels often mean an iron deficiency is present. This can be caused by long-term (chronic) blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding, pregnancy, not enough iron in the diet, or bleeding inside the intestinal tract (from ulcers, colon polyps camera.gif, colon cancer, hemorrhoids camera.gif, or other conditions). In rare cases, too much iron may be lost through the skin (because of a disease such as psoriasis camera.gif) or in the urine.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.