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What causes raised ferritin levels in the blood?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15762 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 21 May 2018 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: Hi my ferritin level is 555, I am female. I take ferrous sulfate. 2x a day. What would be the treatment, is it as easy as stopping the iron? I don’t plan to go off. I’m nervous because I won’t here from my doctor until Tues
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:
iron overload is one cause

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Ferritin is a protein that stores iron

Ferritin levels can range 11- 306 ng/ml in women, this may vary slightly from lab to lab.
Your increased ferritin levels themselves are not going to harm you but are an indicator of a problem.

Iron overload can cause increased ferritin and since you are are iron supplements, this may be the cause. Stopping the supplement would help.

Some of the other causes of increased ferritin are--(1)liver disease
(2)infection
(3)Alcoholism
(4)hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels)
(5)end stage kidney disease

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 4 minutes later
I had several other blood work tests...vitamin levels, reg blood work, which all came out in normal ranges. If I was to have a liver problem, would it show up elsewhere? I know this is probably difficult to answer, not knowing what tests were performed.Oh I have also had2 years of UTI’s. Supposedly I am ok now
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 4 minutes later
Brief Answer:
can show up in different areas

Detailed Answer:
HI

Liver disease can affect protein levels eg total protein, albumin. It can also affect clotting so blood tests such as PT, PTT would be abnormal as well.

Liver function tests though would generally include liver enzymes such as AST (SGOT), ALT (SGPT), alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin levels.

The fact that you are using iron supplements makes this the most likely reason for the increased ferritin

Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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