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Saturday, December 7, 2013
High ferritin but not hemochromatosis
My recent blood tests show elevated ferritin (806), normal saturation (36) and HIGH iron binding capacity (431). I tested negative for hereditary hemochromatosis. I do not drink alchohol and never have.
Isn`t elevated ferritin and high iron binding capacity unusual? What might it indicate?
If testing is negative for hereditary hemochromatosis, one still needs to consider the possibilitiy of other causes of elevated iron levels such as receiving transfusions or being on iron supplements.
There are also rare cases of a type of hemochromatosis that can't be screened for genetically. Much more likely, though, is a phenomenon known as acute phase reactants. Ferritin acts when the body experiences inflammation as if the iron levels go up. So the other thing the doctor may want to pay attention to would be causes of inflammation, such as arthritis, infection, that sort of thing.
Hope this helps!
Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University