11 May Children’s health – What is Ferritin?
Your child’s body relies on iron in red blood cells to carry oxygen to all their cells. Without enough iron, red blood cells will be unable to supply enough oxygen.
If you suspect your child is experiencing an iron deficiency, a blood test checking ferritin levels will measure the amount of stored iron in the body, which will give an overall picture of iron levels.
What is Ferritin?
Ferritin isn’t the same thing as iron. Instead, ferritin is a protein that stores iron, releasing it when the body needs it. Ferritin usually lives in the body’s cells, with very little actually circulating in the blood.
The greatest concentrations of ferritin are typically in the cells of the liver (known as hepatocytes) and immune system (known as reticuloendothelial cells).
Ferritin is stored in the body’s cells until it’s time to make more red blood cells. The body will signal the cells to release ferritin. The ferritin then binds to another substance called transferrin.
Transferrin is a protein that combines with ferritin to transport it to where new red blood cells are made. Imagine transferrin as a dedicated taxi for iron.
While it’s important to have normal iron levels, having enough stored iron is important too. If your child doesn’t have enough ferritin, iron stores can deplete quickly..
Children’s Health Symptoms for Low Ferritin
The follow list are symptoms are associated with low ferritin levels:
- ✅ Unexplained fatigue
- ✅ Dizziness
- ✅ Chronic headaches
- ✅ Unexplained weakness
- ✅ Ringing in the ears
- ✅ Irritability
- ✅ Pain in legs
- ✅ Shortness of breath