Thyroid UK
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High Ferritin

I have received my blood test results and am concerned that my ferritin is high:

Serum ferritin: 191ugl/L 13 - 150.00ug/L

Serum iron: 23.1 6.60 - 26.00umo/L

Unsat iron binding

capacity: 36.1 20.00 - 66.00

Serum TIBC: 59 41.00 - 77.00

Sat iron binding

capacity: 39 % 15.00 - 50.00%

Would appreciate any comments on these numbers. thank you.

18 Replies

Would also like to know if there is any way of lowering high ferritin.



If you aren't supplementing ferritin can be raised due to a virus or infection at the time of testing, even just a cold, otherwise it indicates inflammation somewhere in the body. Yours isn't unduly elevated. I would hang on and retest in 4 months.


I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these suggestions.

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Ferritin is the protein with STORED iron attached to it and when measured is a good indicator of iron levels.

Because your serum iron isn't over range the elevated ferritin is probably caused by inflammation or infection. It is a protective mechanism to starve the infection of iron stores. High ferritin will reduce when the infection/inflammation is addressed.

High ferritin can make you feel breathless and fatigued similar to low iron levels.


Thank you radd. Can you suggest ways of addressing inflammation/infection?


That depends what is causing it. As Clutter says it can something as simple as a cold or more complex autoimmunity.

Your ferritin isn't hugely high and might decrease by itself so I wouldn't worry at this stage.


Okay I'll leave it for now and thanks for the quick response.

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When you get retested, if possible it's useful to have a CRP (c-reactive protein) measurement taken alongside the ferritin. This is a marker of inflammation. If this is normal then ferritin should be an accurate indicator of iron stores. If CRP is elevated then ferritin is unreliable - it may just be an indicator of infection or inflammation.


I think you should look at this in the context of other blood test markers as acc1 commented - CRP but also MCV and b12 status ... Have you asked your GP how the over range ferritin relates to the other blood iron measures ? 😜🍀


Hi Boozybird: What is MCV? I take b12 1,000 every morning alongside B complex. I had a range of blood tests done but this ferritin concerned me. Please let me know what you mean by MCV. Thanks


I've just found what you mean. I had the MCV test done as well.

Total white cell count: 5.47 10*9/L 3.00 - 10.00

Red blood cell count: 4.86 " 3.95 - 5.15

Haemoglobin estimation: 140 g/L 115.00 - 155.00

Haematocrit: 0.42 L/L 0.33 - 0.45L/L

Mean corpuscular volume: 86.4 fL 86.00 - 99.00

Mean corpusc.haemoglobin: 28.8 pg 27.00 - 35.50pg

Mean corpusc: Hb. conc. 333 g/L 320.00 - 360.00

Red blood cell dist. width 12.9 % 11.50 - 15.00%

Platelet count: 164 150.0 - 400.0010

!Mean platelet volume 14.1 Fl 7.00 - 13.00

I can't make head nor tail of these figures. Do they make sense to you?

I would appreciate any comment you make.


All I know is how complicated we all are! As far as I see you are mid range for most things... Perhaps explore your platelets and microcytic anaemia as these are on the lower side of the ranges and for the future keep an eye on ferritin as if it continues to rise you might like to explore hemochromatosis which usually emerges post menopause... Too much iron is not good and can cause fatigue but as someone above suggested perhaps redo blood later in the year to check ferritin. 😜🍀

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Thanks for the advice.


Are you supplementing iron, eating large quantities of cereal with added iron, or large amounts of red meat, post menopausal? One woman with a relatively high iron count who posted here turned out to be Texan.

I think if the ranges for ferritin were based on a sample of people in Texas the rest of us would come out as anaemic.

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No, I don't supplement iron or eat large quantities of cereal with added iron or large amounts of red meat. I am post menopausal, eat red meat twice a week and have gluten free oats made into a muesli for breakfast and occasionally whole grain rice.

I do eat a very good diet which includes plenty of organic fruit and vege. I also eat nuts and seeds, fish, chicken and gluten free bread.

But I am prone to the beginning of a cold which, at the first sign of a sneeze, take copious amounts of vit C and Sambucus (elderberry) and they usually don't come to anything beyond a few sneezes.

What I have noticed is since last year my chest/lungs sometimes sound wheezy and although I've pointed this out to my doctor, she cannot find anything wrong but I know something isn't right. If there is an infection I can't help feeling that it would be my lungs.


OK, post menopause for obvious reasons ferritin usually rises. Inflammation looking possible.

Elderberry is great, isn't it? I pick the berries for a freezer supply.

I too now when I cough have a wheeze like a 40 a dayer. Maybe that too is a hypo thing. Good luck with the sleuthing, please post if you solve it.


I've just begun making tea of ginger, turmeric and black pepper with some coconut oil added into it for assimilation of turmeric. Supposed to be good for inflammation. Also fish oils, anti-oxidants and D3.

You tackle one problem and behind you another sneaks up!


And of course we can eat like gods but it's the absorption that counts and no one seems to have a handle on that one... 😱

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So true.


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