For normal functioning of the body, various trace elements, including iron, are required. It is responsible for the functioning of full-fledged hematopoiesis, the production of hormones, the transport of oxygen, and much more. Ferritin (positive protein) is a complex complex containing iron in its structure. Its deficiency indicates various health problems. To prevent them, you need to know what a ferritin blood test means.
The role and structure of ferritin
Ferritin is involved in the metabolism and recombination of iron in the body. To a greater extent, it is found in reticulocytes (red blood cells), as well as in cells:
brain; spleen; liver.
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In fact, ferritin is a water-soluble combination of iron hydroxyphosphate with the protein apoferritin. Studies on its level make it possible to assess how much of this trace element is contained in the body. After the tests, you can independently find out if ferritin is lowered or increased. To do this, you just need to know the decoding by age and gender.
Rate (ng / ml)
1-5 years old
5-14 years old
From 14 years old in men
Women from 14 years old
After menopause in women
If the readings fall below 10 ng / ml, this is a sign of the progression of iron deficiency anemia. With an excessive concentration of a trace element, the level of ferritin can reach several thousand ng / ml.
Ferritin during pregnancy
During gestation, the concentration of positive protein decreases significantly, but this is not a cause for concern. What does this mean in women during the period of gestation depends on the period of pregnancy:
in the first trimester - up to 90 ng / ml; in the second - up to 75 ng / ml; in the third - up to 10-15 ng / ml.
For the standard development of the baby, a woman should check the ferritin indicators and, if necessary, normalize its balance even during the planning period for conception. This is dictated by the fact that during the intrauterine development of the child, all trace elements, including iron, arrive in his body from the mother. And the lack of any of them can negatively affect the health of the fetus.
Significantly increased ferritin levels are noted in babies immediately after birth. It helps the child to adapt faster and more successfully to a new environment for him. Gradually, the concentration of positive protein decreases.
Methods for determining the concentration of ferritin
Several types of ferritin blood tests are used to determine the level of positive protein using different devices. Modern diagnostic methods include:
Fluorescence analysis, for which special test systems are used. This method is considered more accurate, since polymacrocyclic compounds or porphyrins are used as a label during this study. Immunoassay research. During it, solid-phase carriers are used, on which are applied
… These include stars, paper disks, test tubes, and balls. Radioimmunoassay is performed using a gamma counter.
Modern diagnostic medicine also offers an express analysis for the level of ferritin, which is carried out in 2 stages and allows you to make a conclusion within an hour. How to prepare for the analysis for the correct result
To get the right ferritin test results, you need to properly prepare for the test. Rules to be followed:
refusal to eat 12 hours before testing; physical and emotional rest at least 30 minutes before the procedure; a ban on drinks containing alcohol and smoking during the day; stop taking medications containing iron one week before the study.
There are several reasons that can lead to an apparent increase in ferritin. For example, taking some prohibited or medicinal substances. These include:
aspirin; antibiotics - cefotaxime, chloramphenicol; tumor drug methotrexate; products containing the female sex hormone (estrogen); oral contraceptive pills; preparations that include iron; alcoholic drinks.
There are also medications that, when taken during a study for ferritin levels, can cause a false increase in ferritin levels. These include the following funds:
to lower uric acid; glucocorticoids; antitumor - asparaginase; hypolipidemic; drugs with testosterone.
Tests for the concentration of positive protein during, a few days before and after menstruation are considered ineffective. This is due to an increase in the level of erythrocytes during this period and a decrease in hemoglobin. It is optimal to take this study at least 7 days after the end of menstruation. Indications for analysis
Ferritin analysis is often used in the diagnosis of various diseases. The indications for conducting may be the following symptoms:
discoloration of mucous membranes or skin from normal to gray-brown; increased pigmentation of the skin; bleeding gums; chronic nosebleeds; too profuse menstruation; swelling or symptoms of joint pain; decreased libido (sex drive); muscle pain even in the absence of physical activity; disruption of the gastrointestinal tract - heartburn, nausea, vomiting; weakened
; tachycardia; irritability; delamination and fragility of nails; baldness; unnatural pallor of the skin; a stable feeling of fatigue; fast fatiguability.
Also, the analysis for the concentration of positive protein is carried out in the following cases:
To assess the effectiveness of therapy with drugs that include iron. Usually, the study is carried out 3-5 days after the start of treatment. To determine the latent (latent) iron deficiency. Allows you to identify a lack of a trace element without obvious symptoms in a patient. To monitor the reserve of iron in the blood. Helps to identify the type of anemia with chronic bleeding, hemodialysis, pyelonephritis.
Most often, ferritin saturation studies are carried out in parallel with other methods that allow an accurate diagnosis.
Ferritin is an important positive protein responsible for the transport of iron. To maintain the normal functioning of the body, its concentration must be within the normal range, since any deviations can lead to serious diseases. To avoid this, it is necessary, when one or more of the above symptoms appear, to be tested for the level of ferritin in the blood.