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what's the difference between ferritin and iron?

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Old 02-20-2010, 07:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: new york, ny
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erikab2231 HB User
what's the difference between ferritin and iron?

excuse my ignorance but I have been reading about the importance of ferritin levels on this board. so i was at a podiatrist who was sending me for some blood work (long story) and i asked him to request an iron test as well, thinking that was the same thing as ferritin.

then when i got to the lab i saw that they were different tests, but the doctor has to be the one to request the test.

is my iron level relevant at all? i also asked for a vitamin D test.



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Old 02-20-2010, 07:55 AM   #2
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tigger67 HB User
Re: what's the difference between ferritin and iron?

Ferritin is your stored iron. The regular iron test is your active iron. From what I've read, you can have a normal regular iron level and be very low in Ferritin. I'm not sure how stored iron can be more important than active iron though. Maybe someone else can explain that.

Old 02-20-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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javelina HB Userjavelina HB Userjavelina HB User
Re: what's the difference between ferritin and iron?

Low ferritin is a precursor to anemia. So your serum iron levels can be normal while your storage protein, ferritin is very low.

Low ferritin will interfere with thyroid hormone conversion as well as reducing the activity of thyroid peroxidase. In short, it's essential for normal thyroid metabolism.

Low ferritin will mimic hypothyroidism, causing many of the same symptoms.

So getting your ferritin tested and the levels up to the 70-90 range is essential to successful thyroid hormone replacement.

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