All about Low Ferritin blood test results

Know Your Blood is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Low Ferritin Results

Ferritin is a protein in the body that binds to iron.?Nearly all of the iron in your body is bound to this protein.?

Ferritin is found in high amounts in skeletal muscles, bone marrow, the liver, the spleen and in a smaller amount in the blood.?

Why doctors test ferritin levels

  • Testing ferritin has proven helpful in finding the cause of iron deficiency anemia.
  • It helps to see if inflammation is present in the body.
  • The test analyzes for an overabundance of iron in the body.
  • Provides a continual check up to see the progress of medical treatments that address correcting iron levels in the body.?

What do low ferritin results mean?

Almost always, low ferritin results signify an Iron deficiency?- ?This can be caused by chronic (long-term) blood loss from injuries, menstruation, pregnancy, gastro-intestinal disorders etc.. Iron deficiency can also be due to not eating enough iron in your diet. You can also lose too much iron through the skin as a result of conditions such as psoriasis or even through urine.

Below are the normal ranges of ferritin in the body (measured in ng/mL and mcg/L)

low ferritin test results blood


If you’re concerned about having a low ferritin levels, let’s look at some ways to address the issue.

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms from low levels of ferritin / iron include:

  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • rapid heartbeat
  • dizziness
  • hair loss
  • desire to eat non-food items (body sees them as a source of iron)
  • paleness
  • extremely proneness to bruising
  • intestinal issues (like IBS, Crohns disease)?

Dietary causes

If your not getting enough iron in your diet, you can develop low ferritin levels. Ferritin binds to iron, so if there’s little iron to bind to, ferritin levels could?plummet.?

If you think this might be what’s effecting you, do what you can to get sufficient iron in your diet. Once you’ve started eating enough iron,think about?testing again. If your test results are still low, you could start to look for other causes…

Gastro-intestinal disorders

Intestinal disorders can be a common cause for low ferritin levels.?

  • Cirrhosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gastritis
  • GERD
  • hemorrhoids
  • hepatitis
  • IBS
  • pancreatis
  • ulcers

All of these conditions can?contribute to iron malabsorption, which directly effects ferritin levels and might?cause you to have a low reading.

What to do next if your ferritin levels are low

Your best bet once you find out you have low levels of ferritin is to introduce iron rich foods and/or iron supplements into your diet. (A very good iron supplement to take is Enzymatic Therapy’s Ultimate Iron?- as it delivers multiple forms of iron).

It can take up to four months of supplementation to replenish ferritin stores. Don’t expect to see immediate results, and be sure to get your ferritin levels?tested often enough to see if they are being improved upon.

If you are still experiencing low serum levels of ferritin after supplementation or adequate dietary intake of iron, then your issues are likely deeper seeded. The advice I would give is to check to see if you do have gastro-intestinal issues.?

2 thoughts on “All about Low Ferritin blood test results”

  1. How likely is blood donation to be the cause of low Ferritin, I have been a flood donator for 26 years, and recently have been doing double red donations and have been really slow and tired. I have been turned sown for donation 2x in the past 6 months and recently had a complete blood work by my kaiser physician, only to find out I have low ferritin (6), and low blood cell size ( MCV) of 78. My physician has had my complete GI looked at and found nothing of concern regarding any blood loss. YOur thoughts on this???

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *