Why is ferritin high?: At my request, doctor... - Thyroid UK

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Why is ferritin high?

vocalEK profile image
6 Replies

At my request, doctor tested ferritin, which had never been tested before, although in the past, other iron blood markers were tested and were within range. Strangely, the ferritin has tested over the top of the range, but other iron tests have gone down. (Don't know whether ferritin went up or down, since it was never tested in the past.) So what does this all mean?

6 Replies
Fruitandnutcase profile image

My ferritin is always very high - a good bit over the upper figure in my range. The doctor’s report that comes with my private blood test results (never had it done on the nhs!) says that it can be an indicator of inflammation which in my case is probably right as I have inflammatory arthritis and several other autoimmune conditions.

There are other causes if you look raised ferritin up. I would ask your GP what he / she thinks. From what I have read you can lower your ferritin by donating blood so you could try that if you are able to donate - I can’t because of the drug I take for my arthritis and I’m too old anyway.

Apart from that I’m not very good on interpreting blood tests other than I want my results near the tops of their ranges.

radd profile image


Your available iron (that can be used to make thyroid hormones) is low because you have too much tied up in ferritin.

Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, releasing it when your body needs iron and binding to transferrin, which transports iron to where new red blood cells are made.

Ferritin levels are often raised in the presence of inflammation seen in many people with low thyroid hormone, which leaves less available (serum) iron. Transferrin saturation indicates how saturated the body’s system for transporting iron is and is the ratio of serum iron divided by total iron binding capacity (TIBC).

TIBC is protein transferrin and yours is slightly lower inline with serum iron as should correlate with the amount of available iron to bind.

Your GP will probably recognise your iron levels as "normal" as they are within range, but as iron is key for converting T4-T3 your serum iron levels probably need to be higher to achieve well being.

However, this is a conundrum because you are unable to supplement additional iron due to elevated ferritin levels. Hopefully the T3 you are medicating will help in reducing the inflammation, which will reduce ferritin levels, which will free up available iron for use in making further thyroid hormone.

m7-cola profile image
m7-cola in reply to radd

Thanks for this lucid explanation.

Treepie profile image

Your ferritin is not especially high.I think docs.get really concerned if it reaches 1000. Mine has climbed to 930 over the past three years .In addition to being hypo, I have inflammation in the oesophagus and elsewhere in the digestive tract.

Rosepetal60 profile image
Rosepetal60 in reply to Treepie

Thank you for this as I’m also slightly concerned about my Ferritin level of 600+ But GP has seen results & says satisfactory. And It is likely I could still have inflammation in chest or elsewhere

Treepie profile image

I think it is something to regularly check ,mine rose from 400-900+ over three years.

It indicates inflammation somewhere .In my case several possible causes.

Being Hypo,having AS, now Barratts mucosa,stomach ulcers and this week informed that lymphoma is cause of the ulcers so will need chemo.

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