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Women's Health

Blood Tests

12/10/2009

Question:

I went to my doctor today because I have had diahrea for 4 weeks. He thinks that it might be something viral but he gave me a slip to get blood tests done. He is checking my feritin level. Could that have any thing to do with the diahrea or could he just be getting it checked beause I have anemia of chronic disease?

Answer:

The purpose of the Ferritin test is to help your doctor decide what type of anemia you may have. Ferritin is a protein in the cells that stores iron. So, it will help your doctor decide whether you do not have enough iron in your body to make red blood cells, or whether you have anemia of chronic disease. Some of the other blood tests your doctor ordered may help confirm the diagnosis of viral gastroenteritis (causing the diarrhea) from other causes such as liver irritation.  

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Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University