The normal range for blood ferritin is:
- For men, 24 to 336 nanograms per milliliter (standard units) or 24 to 336 micrograms per liter (international units)
- For women, 11 to 307 nanograms per milliliter (standard units) or 11 to 307 micrograms per liter (international units)
Lower than normal results
A lower than normal ferritin level indicates that you have iron deficiency. You may also be anemic. If your ferritin level is low, your doctor will work to determine the cause.
Higher than normal results
A higher than normal ferritin level can be caused by:
- Hemochromatosis — A condition that causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat
- Porphyria — A group of disorders caused by an enzyme deficiency that affects your nervous system and skin
- Rheumatoid arthritis, adult Still's disease or another chronic inflammatory disorder
- Liver disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Multiple blood transfusions
If your ferritin level is above normal, your doctor may need to evaluate the results along with those of other tests to determine next steps.
For specifics about what your ferritin test results mean, talk to your doctor.
Feb. 24, 2011
- Ferritin. In: Nicoll D, et al. Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/pocketDiagnostic.aspx. Accessed Jan. 5, 2011.
- Ferritin. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ferritin/glance.html. Accessed Jan. 5, 2011.
- Gomella LG, et al. Laboratory diagnosis: Chemistry, immunology, serology. In: Gomella LG, et al. Clinician's Pocket Reference. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=93. Accessed Jan. 5, 2011.
- Laboratory reference values. Ferritin. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; Dec. 2010.