Why do you need to control your Iron and Ferritin?

Iron in your red blood cells carries oxygen to all your body’s cells. If you don’t have enough iron, your red blood cells won’t be able to supply enough oxygen. But you also must be careful not to have too much iron, that could damage your body.

And ferritin? What is it? Ferritin is the protein that stores iron and that usually lives in your body’s cells . It releases iron when your body needs it. So while it’s important for a person to have normal iron levels, having enough stored iron is important too. Our internist likes to control both levels.

Low ferritin levels can be lead to:

  • unexplained fatigue
  • dizziness
  • chronic headache
  • unexplained weakness
  • ringing in your ears
  • irritability
  • leg pain
  • shortness of breath

High ferritin levels can lead to:

  • stomach pain
  • heart palpitations or chest pains
  • unexplained weakness
  • joint pain
  • unexplained fatigue

The normal range for blood ferritin is:

  • For men, 20 to 500 nanograms per milliliter
  • For women, 20 to 200 nanograms per milliliter
    But note that this can vary depending on the patient’s age and condition.

In case of Iron deficiency, what can be done to correct this problem:

  • Diet: red meat (especially liver); chicken; duck; pork; turkey; eggs; lentil; beans; nuts and seeds; green vegetables. The iron in animal-based foods is easier to absorb than the iron in plant-based foods. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you need to take extra care with your diet to get enough iron.
  • Oral supplementation.
  • Intravenous infusions with rapid results, but needs to be done under careful control of specialist to avoid any side effects.
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