Serum Ferritin Vs. Serum Iron


Serum ferritin and serum iron blood tests determine iron levels through different means. Your serum ferritin level is the amount of iron in your body, while serum iron measures the level of iron in your blood. Testing can be crucial, according to, as iron can build up to damaging levels in your body before symptoms appear.


  • Iron is stored inside a protein called ferritin, which is found in many of your body's cells. By extracting a blood sample---not the actual protein---a serum ferritin test provides information about the iron level inside your body, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). A serum ferritin test can diagnose anemia, when you are iron-deficient, or hereditary hemochromatosis, which causes your body to store too much iron.


  • Your doctor may order a serum iron test to determine if you have low iron or an iron deficiency. This test---which measures the exact iron level in your blood---can also diagnose hereditary hemochromatosis, according to

Test Results

  • Serum ferritin measures the amount of iron in body cells and serum iron measures iron levels in the blood, so they have different "normal" ranges. A normal test result for serum ferritin will be measured in nanograms per milliliter: 12 to 300 ng/mL for men and 12 to 150 ng/mL for women.

    The normal test result range for serum iron is measured in micrograms per deciliter: 60 to 170 mcg/dL for both men and women. However, according to, the serum iron level ranges may vary depending upon the lab used.


  • The serum iron test should be conducted in the mornings, when iron levels are highest, according to No specific time of day is preferred for serum ferritin testing, but an inflammatory disorder, such as asthma or arthritis, could inflate your serum ferritin level.


  • Since each test is attempting to measure iron levels from a different source, and for different reasons, abnormal results will also differ in cause. For example, higher-than-normal serum iron results could indicate hepatitis, iron poisoning or vitamin B deficiencies. Higher-than-normal serum ferritin results might be from Hodgkin's lymphoma or liver disease, reports the NIH. Lower-than-normal results of the serum ferritin test might be from long-term digestive tract bleeding, while lower-than-normal serum iron results could be due to pregnancy or heavy menstrual bleeding.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Are Normal Iron Levels for Women?

    Iron found in the body is either actively in use or in storage. The amount of iron in storage varies with individual...

  • What Is a Normal Iron Level?

    Iron is an essential mineral that the body must have in order to function properly. There are very specific ranges for normal...

  • Symptoms of Low Ferritin

    Ferritin is a protein contained inside cells that stores iron for later use by an individual's body. The amount of the protein...

  • How to Lower Ferritin Levels

    It is generally acknowledged that the human body needs iron to remain healthy, but too much iron can be as harmful, if...

  • Reasons Ferritin Would Be Abnormally Low

    Ferritin is a protein containing iron that is stored inside red blood cells. The amount of ferritin released into the blood reflects...

  • Reasons for High Levels of Ferritin

    Ferritin is an iron-storing protein found in the red blood cells. The ferritin levels in our blood are related to the amount...

  • What Is Iron Saturation?

    Iron is a mineral that is essential for hemoglobin (a protein in the red blood cells) to properly carry oxygen. Seventy percent...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!