The ferritin test is a blood test ordered by your physician to measure the level of ferritin in the blood to check the iron storage in the body. Ferritin is a protein that stores the primary form of iron and iron is very important for the production of red blood cells and healthier muscles.
The article below covers all the important topics related to ferritin blood test like ferritin test cost, symptoms, normal ferritin levels, causes of high and low ferritin levels, preparation, and how to get tested for the ferritin blood test.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the ferritin test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the ferritin test cost?
Ferritin test cost ranges between $29 and $50 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. To view and compare the cost of ferritin blood test in different labs offered by different providers, click the button below.
Ferritin test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of the ferritin blood test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan before getting tested.
Our ferritin testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code which is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is ferritin?
Ferritin is a blood protein that stores the primary form of iron and releases when the body needs it. Iron plays an important role in the body by helping in the production of red blood cells and making muscles healthy. Ferritin is stored in the cells until the body needs it to make many red blood cells. When the body signals the cells to release ferritin, the ferritin binds to another substance called transferrin. Transferrin is a protein that combines with ferritin to transport it to the place where new red blood cells are made.
Why is a ferritin test done?
The ferritin test is also known as “serum ferritin test”. The serum ferritin test is done to measure the level of ferritin in the blood to check the iron storage in the body. Your physician will order a ferritin blood test if you experience the following symptoms caused due to excess of iron or deficiency of iron.
Symptoms caused by iron deficiency
- Pale skin
- Ringing in ears
- Pain in the legs
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms caused by the excess of iron
- Stomach ache
- Darkening of skin
- Pain in the joints and chest
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Unusual weight loss
Normal levels of ferritin
The normal ferritin levels may vary slightly among labs. However, the standard ranges of normal ferritin levels are 20 to 500 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter) in men and 20 to 200 ng/ml in women.
How is the ferritin test done?
It takes less than 10 minutes to perform the serum ferritin test.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
There is no special preparation required for the ferritin test. There is no constraint on the diet but, when the blood sample is used for other additional tests, you may be asked to fast for 12 hours before the test. So, consult your physician regarding the diet.
Are there any risks in the test?
There is no possible risk or complication in doing the serum ferritin test. Sometimes, after the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise or redness in the injected area for a very little period. Inform your physician immediately if you have abnormal bleeding in the injected area.
What does the test result mean?
If your ferritin level is lower than normal, it indicates that you have an iron deficiency disease ultimately resulting in the reduction of red blood cells called anemia. Anemia is the most common blood disorder affecting more than 3 million Americans according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. So we recommend getting tested for ferritin levels at least once every two years.
If your ferritin level is higher than normal, your physician may order other tests to get more insight about the level of iron storage in your body. These tests may be
- an iron test that measures the total amount of iron circulating in the body.
- a total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) test that measures the amount of transferrin in the body.
Your physician will also prescribe some medications, therapies and/or other additional tests to treat the imbalance of ferritin levels.
What are the causes of high and low ferritin levels?
The following are the causes of high and low ferritin levels.
Causes of low ferritin levels
- Excessive menstrual bleeding
- Internal bleeding
- Stomach conditions affecting intestinal absorption
Causes of high ferritin levels
- Liver diseases
- Hemochromatosis (overload of iron)
- Chronic inflammatory disorder
- Multiple blood transfusions
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Still’s disease (auto-inflammatory disease)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Restless leg syndrome (irresistible urge to move the legs)
Ferritin blood test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the ferritin test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
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