Results

The normal range for blood ferritin is:

  • For men, 20 to 500 nanograms per milliliter (standard units) or 24 to 336 micrograms per liter (international units)
  • For women, 20 to 200 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 or another chronic inflammatory disorder
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Leukemia
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Multiple blood transfusions
  • Alcohol abuse

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.

Nov. 29, 2016
References
  1. Ferritin, serum. Mayo Medical Laboratories. http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Overview/88153. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.
  2. Gomella LG, et al., eds. Laboratory diagnosis: Chemistry, immunology, serology. In: Clinician's Pocket Reference: The Scut Monkey. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2007. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=365. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.
  3. Ferritin. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/ferritin/tab/test. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.
  4. Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. Oct. 17, 2016.
  5. Picchietti DL. Restless legs syndrome/Willis-Ekbom disease during pregnancy and lactation. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.
  6. Mandl LA. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of adult Still's disease. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.
  7. Laffel L. Epidemiology, presentation, and diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus in children and adolescents. www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 14, 2016.