If you have low ferritin levels, you may be experiencing symptoms of tiredness and breathlessness or you might even be feeling dizzy.
Ferritin Blood Test
If you are suffering from low ferritin levels, it is likely that you will be feeling dizzy and tired and you may also feel breathless. The symptoms of low ferritin levels are also similar to those of thyroid issues, low Vitamin D and anaemia.
Ferritin blood test – why would you check?
Ferritin is the protein which stores iron in the bloodstream, which releases iron when your body has a need for it. Ferritin is most commonly found in the skeletal muscles and bone marrow, as well as the spleen and liver.
Low ferritin levels can be an indicator of an iron deficiency. The root causes of iron deficiencies can be down to poor lifestyle choices and diet but they can also arise as a result of anaemia or excessive bleeding. Ferritin levels can also be high and this can be indicative of liver disease or rheumatoid arthritis. High ferritin levels also show that your body is storing too much iron and you may be suffering from an inflammatory condition as a result.
How to help increase your ferritin levels
Upping your ferritin levels can be increased by eating foods which are naturally rich in iron. Iron-rich foods include lean meats, beans and nuts and dark green leafy vegetables. Certain breakfast cereals have been fortified with iron. If you are increasing your intake of iron-rich foods, it will help to consume more Vitamin C rich foods, such as kiwis or oranges, to aid with iron absorption.
Testing ferritin levels for wellness
The test can be performed using a small amount of blood from a finger prick, which you can do yourself.
How often should I test my ferritin levels?
We recommend testing your ferritin levels when experiencing symptoms, or having a restricted diet.
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Joint pain
- Stomach ache
This blood test is to check on:
- Thyroid Levels
- Thyroid Antibodies
- Anaemia Screen
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
For best results (if medically suitable) it is advisable to fast (water is allowed) 12 hours prior to the test which needs to be taken first thing in the morning and posted on the same day on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
Collection method: Finger prick
Results available: 2-5 days after the sample has reached the laboratory.
Free Thyroxine (Free T4)
This test will measure the amount of free thyroxine in your blood, it will measure how well your thyroid gland is working. T4 is one of the major thyroid hormones in your blood. If the results are too high or too low it can indicate thyroid disease.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
This test will measure how much TSH is in your blood.
TSH is made in your pituitary, (a gland in your brain) when your thyroid levels are low the pituitary gland makes more TSH and when the thyroid levels are high your pituitary makes less TSH This result indicates how well the thyroid is working.
Free T3 (FT3)
This test measures the level of triiodothyronine (T3) in your blood. T3 along with T4 are the two major thyroid hormones in your blood. T3 blood test may be used to diagnose hyperthyroidism. If the results are too high or too low it can indicate thyroid disease.
The test will measure the amount of thyroxine in your blood. Too much or too little may be indicative of thyroid disease.
Thyroid Antibodies (TGA and TPO)
This test measures thyroid antibodies in the blood.
Antibodies are a protein made by the immune system to fight infection and bacteria. Sometimes these antibodies can fight your own cells, tissues and muscles causing an autoimmune response. When this occurs with the thyroid it can lead to an autoimmune thyroid disorder such as Graves disease or Hashimotos disease.
Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TGA)
The thyroglobulin antibodies blood test will usually indicate if an autoimmune problem has caused damage to the thyroid gland.
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPO)
The thyroid peroxidase antibodies blood test will usually indicate if an autoimmune problem has caused damage to the thyroid gland.
Active Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is needed in the production of red blood cells, brain health and to keep nerves healthy and aids in the making of DNA. Low levels may indicate anaemia.
Folate, otherwise known as Vitamin B9, is needed to make blood cells, convert carbohydrates to energy, produce DNA and RNA.
Ferritin is a blood protein which contains iron. The test will measure how much iron your body stores. Low levels may be indicative of anaemia, too high could be indicative of iron overload.
Vitamin D is needed to keep teeth, bones and muscles healthy. Low levels may contribute to osteoporosis, increased risk of bone fractures, muscle weakness, pain fatigue and depression.