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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes chronic increased iron and ferritin levels?

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Dr. Salah Saad Shoman

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1668 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 5 Mar 2018 in Blood Disorders
Question: I have thallasemia trait (i think this is what its called) and since i have been measuring ferritin it has been between 350-480, until yesterday when it was 630. My iron levels have also been fluctuating from 63-130. Yesterday was 160. Is the ferritin level and iron level, something i should be worried about?
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Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 16 minutes later
Brief Answer:
can cause various complications

Detailed Answer:
Dear Ma'am, I have gone through your question and I understand your concerns but unfourtanetly chronic increased iron and ferritin levels known as iron overload can lead to iron deposition in various tissues of the body leading to heart arrhythmias, liver cirrhosis , pulmonary hypertension and skin hyper-pigmentation..
iron overload can be due to a number of causes , the most common of which is excessive iron suppplements or regular blood transfusions in thalassemia patients.. if that is the cause then treatement will be by a simple procedure called phelpotomy which entails withdrawal of one unit of blood from one of your viens ..
other causes may include hepatitis C infection or increased alcohol consumption.. I hope you find this helpful..
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Follow up: Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 2 days later
Hello. Thank you very much. However pls jote that my Iron levels have been in the normal ranges. My CRP/ECR, White blood cells are good. It is just the Ferritin. Something else, too. 10 days ago i had amygdalitis (tonsillitis) and took Zithromax for 3 days. Could that affect the ferritin elevation?

Moreover, i was tested for hepatitis with negative results (2 years ago) tumor markers again (2 years ago) negative results and i am a non-alocoholic. My Bilirubin is slightly above normal (i.e. 1.1-1.9). Therefore, 1) could the elevation to 650s be as a result of recent (11 days ago) tonsillitis and 2) could ferritin at levels of 450s without high Iron levels, be harmful? Thank you very much in advance.
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Answered by Dr. Salah Saad Shoman 19 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes could be due to tonsillitis

Detailed Answer:
Dear Ma'am,
hello again and thank you for clarifying that you were experiencing an attack of tonsillitis .

This can be the cause of elevated ferritin levels which can get elevated in response to acute inflammatory conditions such as tonsillitis .. There is no need to worry as the levels should go back to normal within a month after which I recommend that you follow up on the ferritin level . Since this is transient , it is not expected to cause any side effects or complications .

I hope you find this helpful.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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