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Ferritin Blood Test UK

Ferritin blood testing measures the ferritin protein in your blood, essential for storing iron. This test helps diagnose iron-related disorders, aiding in assessing your body’s iron levels and overall health. 

*Results will be sent the same-day or next-day via email.

*Please note that an additional £20 phlebotomy charge will be added to your bill. Free phlebotomy on orders over £300. No phlebotomy charge at the Battersea/Nine Elms location. Most competitive prices on the market! 

*Please note that if you want more than one for your appointment, you can choose an option when booking and pay for the rest in the clinic.

  • Early Detection of Iron Imbalances
  • Comprehensive Health Insight
  • Guided Treatment Decisions

What is Ferritin?

Ferritin is a vital protein found in almost all living organisms, including humans. It plays a crucial role in iron storage and regulation within the body. Iron, an essential mineral, is necessary for numerous bodily functions, most notably for the production of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. However, free iron can be toxic in large amounts, making its storage and controlled release through ferritin critical for maintaining health.

In humans, ferritin is found in various cells with high concentrations in liver cells, spleen, bone marrow, and muscle tissues. It acts like a cellular “iron bank,” storing excess iron and releasing it when the body needs more, such as during periods of rapid growth, pregnancy, or after blood loss. This regulation is vital because the human body has no active mechanism to excrete excess iron, relying instead on ferritin and related proteins to manage iron levels.

Ferritin levels in the blood can serve as a mirror reflecting the total amount of iron stored in the body. Low ferritin levels often indicate a deficiency in iron, which can lead to anaemia – a condition characterized by a reduced ability of your blood to carry oxygen. Conversely, high ferritin levels might suggest an excess of iron, which could point to conditions like hemochromatosis, an inherited disorder leading to iron overload and potential damage to organs.

The clinical significance of ferritin extends beyond iron metabolism. It’s also a marker of inflammation. Elevated ferritin levels can sometimes be found in patients with infections, liver disease, chronic inflammatory conditions, and certain types of cancer. Therefore, ferritin testing is a common and valuable tool in a wide range of medical diagnostics, helping healthcare professionals assess not only iron-related conditions but also broader aspects of a patient’s health.

What is a Ferritin Blood Test?

A ferritin blood test is a critical diagnostic tool used to measure the level of ferritin, a key iron-storage protein, in your blood. This test is essential for evaluating the body’s iron levels and plays a significant role in diagnosing various health issues associated with iron imbalances.

When the body has insufficient iron, low ferritin levels are often observed. This condition is a leading indicator of iron deficiency anemia, a common health issue where the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells due to a lack of iron. Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can range from fatigue and weakness to more severe complications like heart problems and developmental delays in children.

Conversely, raised ferritin causes are varied and can include conditions such as iron overload, chronic inflammation, liver diseases like cirrhosis or hepatitis, and even certain types of cancer. Elevated ferritin levels might also be a response to other chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis or hyperthyroidism.

Conducting a blood test for ferritin involves a simple blood draw, typically included in a comprehensive blood testing panel. This test is particularly crucial for individuals who exhibit symptoms of abnormal iron levels, such as unexplained fatigue, weakness, or hair loss, and those who have a family history of iron-related disorders.

Additionally, the ferritin blood test is often used to monitor the effectiveness of treatments in patients undergoing iron supplementation or phlebotomy therapy for conditions like hemochromatosis.

In interpreting the results of a ferritin blood test, healthcare professionals consider a range of factors, including age, gender, and overall health. The outcomes of this test provide valuable insights, guiding medical professionals in making informed decisions about treatment plans. For low ferritin levels, the treatment may involve dietary changes to increase iron intake or iron supplementation. In cases of raised ferritin causes, the approach could include further testing to identify underlying conditions, lifestyle changes, or specific medical treatments to manage the excess iron or address the inflammation.

Why do I Need a Ferritin Blood Test?

A ferritin blood test is essential for various reasons, especially if you are experiencing symptoms that could be related to abnormal iron levels. Understanding your ferritin levels helps in diagnosing and managing several health conditions.

  • Monitoring Iron Levels:

Ferritin is a key indicator of your body’s iron stores. Testing ferritin levels can help identify iron deficiency or overload, guiding appropriate treatments.

  • Diagnostic Tool:

It aids in diagnosing conditions like iron deficiency anemia (due to low ferritin) or hemochromatosis and other iron overload disorders (associated with raised ferritin).

  • Ferritin Levels in Pregnancy:

Monitoring ferritin is crucial during pregnancy, as the demand for iron increases significantly to support the growing fetus and placenta, and to increase the mother’s blood volume.

  • Detecting Inflammation:

Elevated ferritin levels can be a marker of inflammation or infection in the body.

Symptoms of High and Low Ferritin

Causes of Raised Ferritin

  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Joint pain.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • High blood sugar levels.
  • Loss of sex drive or impotence.
  • Skin color changes to a bronze or gray tone. Causes of raised ferritin include iron overload disorders, liver disease, chronic infections, inflammatory conditions, and certain types of cancer.

Symptoms of Low Ferritin:

  • Chronic fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Hair loss. Low ferritin typically indicates iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia. It’s often caused by inadequate dietary iron intake, blood loss, or malabsorption of iron.

Understanding ferritin levels, particularly in scenarios like pregnancy or in the presence of symptoms related to iron imbalances, is essential for maintaining optimal health. A ferritin blood test provides critical information that aids in the early detection and effective management of these conditions.

Preparation and Aftercare

Preparing for Your Thyroxine (T4) Blood Test

  • Fasting Requirements: Depending on the specific requirements of the test, you may be advised to fast for a certain period (usually 8-12 hours) before the blood draw. This means no food or drink except water during this period.

  • Medication and Supplements: Inform your healthcare provider about any medications or supplements you are currently taking. Some substances can influence thyroid hormone levels and may need to be paused or adjusted.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water leading up to the test, as hydration can make the blood draw process easier.

  • Rest Well: Ensure a good night’s sleep before the day of the test. Being well-rested helps in managing stress and maintaining normal body functioning.

  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Wear clothing with sleeves that can easily be rolled up to facilitate easy access to the vein.

Aftercare Following Your Thyroxine (T4) Blood Test

  • Bandage Care: Keep the bandage on for as long as recommended by the phlebotomist, usually a few hours, to prevent bruising.

  • Hydrate and Eat: After fasting tests, ensure to rehydrate and have a nutritious meal to restore your energy levels.

  • Monitor the Puncture Site: Watch for any signs of infection like excessive redness, swelling, or pain around the puncture site. Though rare, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider if you notice these symptoms.

  • Rest if Needed: If you feel lightheaded or dizzy post-test, take a moment to sit or lie down until you feel better.

  • Follow-Up: Wait for your test results and follow up with your healthcare provider to discuss them, especially if any abnormal levels are detected.

At London Blood Tests, we ensure that your experience is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Our team is here to guide you through every step of the process, from preparation to aftercare, ensuring you receive the best care and support.

Benefits of a Blood Test Ferritin

    • Early Detection of Iron Disorders

    A ferritin blood test is key in detecting iron deficiency or overload at an early stage. Early detection allows for prompt intervention, which can prevent the progression of conditions like iron deficiency anemia or hemochromatosis.

    • Guiding Treatment Plans

    Accurate ferritin level readings help healthcare providers tailor treatment strategies. For low ferritin levels, this might involve iron supplementation or dietary modifications. In cases of high ferritin, treatments may focus on managing the underlying cause, such as reducing iron intake or treating liver conditions.

    • Monitoring Chronic Conditions

    For individuals with ongoing health issues like chronic kidney disease, liver diseases, or certain types of anemia, regular ferritin testing can help monitor the condition and the effectiveness of treatments.

    • Indicating Inflammation and Infection

    Elevated ferritin levels can act as markers for inflammation or infection, aiding in the diagnosis and management of various inflammatory diseases and infections.

    • Assessing Iron Levels in Pregnancy

    Monitoring ferritin during pregnancy is vital. Adequate iron levels are crucial for the health of both the mother and the developing fetus. This blood test ferritin helps in ensuring that iron levels are sufficient, reducing the risk of complications like low birth weight or premature birth.

    • Overall Health Assessment

    Since ferritin is integral to several bodily functions, its levels can provide insights into general health status. This is particularly useful in comprehensive health check-ups or in assessing unexplained symptoms like fatigue or hair loss.

Ferritin Normal Range

In the UK, ferritin levels are a critical marker for assessing an individual’s iron storage and overall health. The ferritin normal range varies based on age, gender, and sometimes individual health circumstances, making it essential to understand these variations for accurate diagnosis and treatment of iron-related disorders.

Normal Ferritin Levels by Age and Gender:

  • Normal ferritin levels for adult men usually range from 30 to 300 ng/mL.

  • For adult women, the normal range is often between 15 and 150 ng/mL.

  • Children’s ferritin levels are typically lower and vary widely depending on their age, with a distinct ferritin level chart often used for reference.

  • Ferritin levels UK standards are essential for comparing individual test results to these established norms.

Low Ferritin:

  • Low ferritin levels indicate depleted iron stores in the body. This condition is frequently caused by inadequate dietary iron, malabsorption issues, or chronic blood loss, such as from gastrointestinal bleeding or heavy menstrual cycles.

  • Symptoms of low ferritin include chronic fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, and in severe cases, can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

  • Low ferritin is particularly concerning as it can affect oxygen transport in the body and overall health.

Raised Ferritin Levels:

  • Raised ferritin levels can occur due to several reasons. Causes of raised ferritin encompass iron overload disorders (like hemochromatosis), liver diseases (including hepatitis and cirrhosis), chronic inflammation, infections, and certain cancers.

  • Lifestyle factors, such as excessive dietary iron intake and alcohol consumption, can also lead to raised ferritin levels.

  • Symptoms related to raised ferritin causes might include fatigue, joint pain, abdominal discomfort, and changes in skin pigmentation.

Understanding both low ferritin and raised ferritin levels is crucial for healthcare professionals. Elevated ferritin, for instance, can be a marker of inflammation or infection, while low levels might necessitate dietary intervention or iron supplementation.

Regular monitoring of ferritin levels UK is a key component of health management, especially for individuals at risk of iron imbalances, such as those with a family history of iron-related disorders, pregnant women (due to the increased demand for iron), and older adults. In clinical practice, a comprehensive approach is often taken, involving not just the assessment of ferritin levels but also a review of the patient’s overall health, symptoms, and lifestyle factors.

Maintaining ferritin levels within the ferritin normal range is vital for health. Abnormal levels, whether low ferritin or raised ferritin, can have significant implications, influencing everything from energy levels and physical strength to cognitive function and immune response. Therefore, ferritin blood test is an invaluable tool in modern healthcare, enabling early detection and management of conditions related to iron metabolism.

Step-by-Step at London Blood Tests

  1. Appointment Scheduling:

Patients can book an appointment either online or by calling the clinic. This ensures a convenient time slot and minimal waiting.

  1. Pre-Test Instructions:

Before the test, patients receive instructions on any necessary preparations. This might include fasting for a certain period or avoiding specific medications.

  1. Arrival and Check-In:

On the day of the appointment, patients arrive at the clinic and check in at the reception. They may be required to fill out some basic paperwork or provide identification.

  1. Initial Consultation:

A brief consultation with a healthcare professional may be conducted. This is to discuss any current symptoms, medical history, and to explain the test procedure.

  1. Blood Sample Collection:

  • The patient is seated comfortably in a private area.
  • An area of the arm is cleaned with an antiseptic wipe.
  • A tourniquet is applied to make the veins more visible.
  • A needle is gently inserted into a vein, usually at the crook of the arm, and a small amount of blood is collected into a vial.

  1. Post-Collection Care:

After the blood draw, the site is cleaned, and a small bandage is applied. Patients are advised to keep the bandage on for a few hours.

  1. Sample Analysis:

The collected blood sample is sent to the laboratory for analysis. Our clinics use advanced technology for accurate and quick results.

  1. Result Communication:

Results are typically available within a few days. Patients receive their results via their preferred method of communication (e.g., phone call, email, or through a patient portal).

  1. Follow-Up Consultation:

If necessary, a follow-up appointment is scheduled to discuss the results. During this consultation, the healthcare provider can explain the findings, suggest any further testing if needed, and discuss potential treatment options or lifestyle adjustments.

  1. Ongoing Support and Care:

Our clinics offer ongoing support and care. Patients are encouraged to reach out with any questions or concerns following the test or their follow-up consultation.

Book your Test in the Comfort of Your Home

  1. Booking the Home Test:

Patients can book a home Ferritin Blood Test either through the clinic’s website or by phone. During booking, they should specify their address and preferred time for the ferritin blood test.

  1. Confirming the Appointment:

Once the booking is made, the clinic confirms the appointment and provides details about the phlebotomist’s visit, including the additional charge of £20 for home or hotel visits in Central London. It’s also noted that phlebotomy services are free on orders over £300.

  1. Preparation for the Test:

Prior to the appointment, patients receive instructions on how to prepare for the blood test ferritin. This may include fasting or avoiding certain medications.

  1. Phlebotomist Visit:

On the scheduled day, a certified phlebotomist visits the patient’s home or hotel room. The phlebotomist carries all necessary equipment for a safe and sterile blood draw.

  1. Blood Sample Collection:

  • The patient is made comfortable, and the procedure is explained.
  • The phlebotomist follows strict hygiene protocols, cleaning the area of the arm where the blood will be drawn.
  • A tourniquet is applied, and a blood sample is collected into a vial with minimal discomfort.

  1. Post-Collection Care:

The phlebotomist provides aftercare advice, applies a small bandage to the puncture site, and ensures the patient is comfortable and well-informed about the next steps.

  1. Sample Handling and Analysis:

The collected sample is safely stored in a portable cooler. The phlebotomist transports the sample to the clinic’s laboratory for analysis.

  1. Receiving Results:

The results of the Ferritin Blood Test are typically available within a few days. Patients receive their results through their chosen communication method, such as email or a phone call.

  1. Follow-Up:

If necessary, a virtual or in-person follow-up consultation can be arranged to discuss the test results, any further testing required, and potential treatment plans.

  1. Ongoing Support:

Patients have access to ongoing support from the clinic. They are encouraged to contact the clinic with any post-test questions or for further health advice.

Did you know?

What is Ferritin?

Ferritin is a crucial protein that stores iron in your body, helping maintain adequate iron levels for essential functions like oxygen transport and cell growth.

What is a Ferritin Blood Test?

A ferritin blood test measures the amount of ferritin in your blood. It's an important diagnostic tool for assessing your body's iron storage, aiding in identifying iron deficiency or overload.

What is Dangerously Low Ferritin Levels?

Dangerously low ferritin levels are typically below 10-15 ng/mL, which can lead to severe symptoms and complications, such as iron deficiency anaemia.

What Causes Low Ferritin?

Low ferritin can result from inadequate dietary iron intake, chronic blood loss, or medical conditions that affect iron absorption.

How are Raised Ferritin Levels Treated?

Treatment for raised ferritin levels involves addressing the underlying cause, which might include dietary modifications, phlebotomy, or medication.

What are Normal Ferritin Levels by Age and Gender?

Normal ferritin levels by age and gender vary, with adult men typically ranging from 30 to 300 ng/mL, and women from 15 to 150 ng/mL.

Can Ferritin Levels Fluctuate During Pregnancy?

Yes, ferritin levels in pregnancy can fluctuate due to increased iron requirements. Monitoring ferritin levels during pregnancy is important for maternal and fetal health.

What Does a Ferritin Level Chart Indicate?

A ferritin level chart helps in comparing your test results against standard ranges based on age and gender, aiding in diagnosis.

Are There Any Dietary Recommendations for Maintaining Normal Ferritin Levels?

To maintain normal ferritin levels, a balanced diet rich in iron (like red meat, leafy greens, and beans) is recommended. Vitamin C can also help enhance iron absorption.

Our tailored tests will help you discover health insights to assess your wellbeing.

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