Iron is an essential biological element for life . However, it needs to be properly stored inside the cell. Ferritin is the main protein that stores iron safely inside the cell. This protein is expressed in all cells of the body. What to do when the tests show an increase in ferritin? Learn more in our post!
Ferritin is a protein produced mainly by the liver, whose basic functions are: to carry iron and mediate the inflammation process. As it is involved in the transport of iron, it is natural that there is a proportionality between the levels of the protein and those of the mineral.
What are the symptoms of hyperferritinemia?
Tiredness, weakness, impotence, abdominal pain, weight loss, joint pain, hair loss, changes in menstrual cycles, arrhythmias, swelling and testicular atrophy.
What causes this increase in ferritin?
The cause can be found in a wide spectrum of conditions, both genetic and acquired, it can be elevated in conditions such as liver disease, alcoholism, malignancies, infectious and inflammatory diseases (ex rheumatoid arthritis), hyperthyroidism, acute myocardial infarction, advanced kidney disease and iron overload (hemosiderosis and hemochromatosis).
How to deal with this problem?
There are several causes of elevated ferritin in the blood. Talk to your doctor and follow the specific treatment for your clinical condition . Regardless of the cause, it is important to note that elevated ferritin is a serious alert to seek medical advice. You can look for a general practitioner, hematologist, endocrinologist or hepatologist.
The diet must be individualized
Several metabolic conditions lead to a lack of control in the liver’s ability to deal with metal, such as hepcidin, a hormone responsible for this control. Fructose (a type of sugar), on the other hand, generally compromises the organ’s regular functioning, thus increasing ferritin levels, such as uric acid, intrahepatic fat and also causing insulin resistance. Therefore, the diet must be individualized .
Don’t take drastic actions
There is no need to restrict iron-rich foods after opening the test envelope and finding a high level of ferritin. This is because it is an exam that is not definitive as to the diagnosis of excess iron, and you need medical monitoring to take any path.