High Ferritin Normal Iron and Anemia in my blood test results.

I have anemia but high ferritin normal iron in my blood tests, I am a male,my age is 56 years, suffering from frequent stomach pain, heart palpitations or chest pains, general weakness and fatigue with unexplained reason, and joint pain.
My blood screen at hospital shows:

  • Haemoglobin level: 12.0 g/dl (men Hb ranges:
  • serum iron: 81 (65 – 175 ug/dl).
  • Serum ferritin: 1100 ng/ml (20 – 300 ).
  • What do my blood test results mean?

Please explain, what can cause anemia with normal iron and high ferritin levels in my blood?
Anemia is considered when Hemoglobin ( Hb ) content less than 13.5 gm % in males and less than 11.5 gm % in females, read more about: normal hemoglobin levels
So that, the case is for an adult man 50 years and from his hemoglobin result 12 g/dl, he have mild anemia.
But  why an adult man have low hemoglobin levels and going to be anemic patient?
From the blood test results, the serum iron result is normal 80 microgram/dl when compared to the reference ranges of the s.iron (65 – 175 ug/dl).
The Ferritin value is higher than the normal range which is 1100 ng/ml (normal ferritin : 20 – 300 ).
From the age and blood results we can suggest these conditions:
The ferritin is an acute phase reactant, this means that the ferritin is elevated in response to any inflammatory condition in your body.
anemia of illness
The patient probably have chronic illness, in which the iron is restricted and blocked within the cells, and prevented from entering the blood cell manufacturing process, the ferritin is the iron storage in the liver, in many diseases ferritin is released in the illness status in order to compensating the iron imbalance, or just dropped from the under-disease organs, so that the body elevating the Iron level to the normal range, thus is why the lab work show high ferritin normal iron results.

Inflammatory diseases that cause high levels of ferritin and anemia with normal iron are:

  1. Hemochromatosis causes high ferritin levels as your body absorbs too much iron, which is due to genetic problems.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis: a systemic disease that cause general weakness, joints pain, anemia with elevated ferritin.
  3. Liver diseases: cause interference and interruption of iron storage function of the liver cells, thus cause the cell’s ferritin to leak out to the blood stream and thus show elevated in the lab test.
    hyperthyroidism: the thyroid gland secretions is over the normal limits, which cause increasing in all processes of the body.
  4. Type 2 diabetes: Serum ferritin level is proportional to serum glucose concentration.
    leukemia and Hodgkin’s lymphoma: the body can’t utilize iron.
  5. Iron poisoning
  6. Frequent blood transfusions
  7. Adult Still’s disease

What should I do when I have anemia with normal iron and high ferritin?
The best approach is to find expert doctor to get the suitable diagnosis, thus the suitable treatment.
In the mean time, take blood tests for measuring the TIBC (a total iron binding capacity) which tells how much is the transferrin in your body, transferrin is the protein carries iron within the body.
Be aware of risk factors of anemia with high ferritin normal iron: obesity, inflammation, and every day alcohol addiction.
Read about low hemoglobin levels

Dr.Megan Ralf

A Medical laboratory Scientist who devoted his life to medical and laboratory sciences, writes his everyday expertise dealing with various pathological conditions through laboratory diagnosis of different body fluids, also participating in many workshops for first aids, infection control, and urgent care. Also Dr Megan Ralf coaching many medical teams.

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