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Crohn's Disease Forum » Tests for IBD » Blood Tests » Need Help With Understanding High Ferritin Level


10-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #1
Jennifer
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Need Help With Understanding High Ferritin Level

I got my blood results back and I'm confused (I've never been good at dealing with blood work).

On my paper normal ferritin is 15-150 and my result is high at 729.

My iron is in the normal range (its 139, normal being 35-155) so I don't see how it could be related to having too much iron.

My GP said it may be high because I'm on a steroid but I don't see that as a possible cause when looking it up. The steroid is supposed to reduce inflammation so if the inflammation is actually being reduced then it couldn't be that either. My CRP hadn't come back yet (takes longer for that result) so I don't know the current number but as of two weeks ago my CRP was 59.63 which is high.

Am I going to blow up and die?
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10-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
PsychoJane
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Ok... Originally I know pretty much nothing about serum ferritin but I came across a few things like
However, a large percentage of the general population has a serum ferritin level between 200 and 1,000 ng/mL. This may be related to the epidemic of obesity and fatty liver, which may elevate ferritin levels on the basis of inflammation rather than iron overload.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3093720/

I've read a things in ferritin guide for physician and well, it describes and array of possibilities regarding high ferritin levels, from liver issues, to renal issues, to some specific immune disease like Still, to malignancy. It really seems to need to be portrayed globally. Unfortunately, my knowledge quite limited on these aspects
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10-24-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
PsychoJane
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I also read something as it could be an indicator for type 2 diabetes. I wonder if the mechanisms are the same regarding drug-induced diabetes. Are your blood glucose level within normals?
10-24-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
Jennifer
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Yep glucose was normal at 82. I'm not overweight either (BMI is at 23).
10-24-2013, 08:09 PM   #5
PsychoJane
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Are my memories right about methotrexate? Are you still taking it?
10-24-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
rygon
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Is this a one off? Maybe the reading was out for some reason? If it was an expected rise going by other results are you on multi vits with iron, or maybe your genetic makeup

Wiki says:

Elevated[edit]
If ferritin is high, there is iron in excess or else there is an acute inflammatory reaction in which ferritin is mobilized without iron excess. For example, ferritins may be high in infection without signaling body iron overload.

Ferritin is also used as a marker for iron overload disorders, such as hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis. Adult-onset Still's disease, some porphyrias, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis/macrophage activation syndrome are diseases in which the ferritin level may be abnormally raised.
As ferritin is also an acute-phase reactant, it is often elevated in the course of disease. A normal C-reactive protein can be used to exclude elevated ferritin caused by acute phase reactions.

According to a study of anorexia nervosa patients, ferritin can be elevated during periods of acute malnourishment, perhaps due to iron going into storage as intravascular volume and thus the number of red blood cells falls.[27]
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10-24-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
Jennifer
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Are my memories right about methotrexate? Are you still taking it?
I stopped it two weeks ago so that's 2 weeks of not taking it and it was still a fairly low dose.
10-24-2013, 09:28 PM   #8
Clash
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Could it be Anemia of Inflammation? I read a paper about normal HBG levels and iron but high ferritin and it being a sign of Anemia of Inflammation or anemia of chronic disease.

I can't come across that paper at the moment but here is another that mentions it:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2788427/

I'll keep looking for the other one.
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10-24-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
Catherine
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Hi Jennifer

Ferritin can be a marker inflammation.

Have you be tested for Thalassemia? Where are your family from? Eg England, Greece.

The reason I ask is my daughter, was tested for this due to rising ferritin levels with decreasing haemoglobin levels. In her case ferritin acts as marker of inflammation but her levels were never as high as your. Testing for Beta Thalassemia would appear to be the normal response in this situation in Australia, as 10% of our Greece population have Beta Thalassemia minor.
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10-24-2013, 11:01 PM   #10
Jennifer
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I have not been tested for Thalassemia. I'm a Euro mutt (1/4 Italian, 1/4 German, 1/4 French and the rest is Irish, English I can't remember what else). I could run it by my doctor but I'm 31 years old, wouldn't that have been found out by now if it were an issue?

Edit: My hemoglobin is 11.8, says normal is between 11.1-15.9.
10-25-2013, 02:28 AM   #11
Catherine
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Thalassemia minor usually has little or no symptoms. Women are still often found to carry the gene in pregnancy when it becomes as issue if their partner is also a carrier as child has a one in four chance of developing thalassemia major.

The reason it maybe worth testing for is that those with thalassemia minor should be careful taking iron supplements due to increase risk of iron overload.

The most likely reason for your high ferritin is that your ferritin is acting as a marker of imflammation. But if not that my understanding is your ferritin levels that high you would need to stop taking any supplement containing any iron until you know for sure what is causing such high levels.

http://www.thalassaemia.org.au/frequ...sked-questions

As you appear to have Mediterranean background, you come from of the higher risk populations.

Last edited by Catherine; 10-25-2013 at 06:03 AM.
10-25-2013, 06:40 PM   #12
Jennifer
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Interesting. Well until I can get tested for it (assuming my doctor will be willing to do it) I can stop the iron supplements for now. My iron is currently in the higher normal range anyway so shouldn't be a problem. Honestly I think my doctors dropped the ball a long time ago when it came to monitoring my iron in the first place. I was told to start supplementing because it was low and that I was slightly anemic. I'll have it retested in a month or two to make sure its not getting low again.
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