What is a Ferritin Level test?
Have you felt exhausted lately? Can you barely make it up the stairs or for a walk without getting winded, even though you’re physically fit? If so, you might be lacking in iron.
Although most people don’t think of iron as being an essential nutrient, it might be surprising to learn that low iron is the most common nutritional deficiency in the US.
Your body relies on iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen to all its cells. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, releasing it when your body needs it.
Ferritin usually lives in your body’s cells, with very little actually circulating in the bloodstream. Ferritin is stored in the body’s cells until it’s time to make more red blood cells, at which point the body will signal the cells to release ferritin. Ferritin then binds to another substance called transferrin. Transferrin is a protein that combines with ferritin to transport it to where new red blood cells are made.
While it’s important for a person to have normal iron levels, having enough stored iron is important too. If the body doesn’t have enough ferritin, iron stores can deplete quickly. Without enough iron, red blood cells will be unable to supply enough oxygen. However, too much iron isn’t good for the body either. Both high and low iron levels may indicate a serious underlying problem.
A Ferritin test measures the amount of stored iron in your body, which can give your doctor an overall picture of your iron levels. A doctor may order this test if they suspect that you’re experiencing an iron deficiency or an iron overload. Some indicators can be:
- Unexplained fatigue or unexplained weakness
- Dizziness or chronic headaches
- Ringing in your ears
- Leg pains
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
- Heart palpitations or chest pains
- Joint pain
When will I receive my results?
Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.
How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?
No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.