Inflammation Increases Ferritin Level Results

ImageI never knew until the other day that the presence of inflammation in your body can create falsely high results when being tested for ferritin (iron) levels. Apparently this is a well know fact.

I’m sure that most of you have had your iron levels tested due to the numerous articles and studies you’ve run across linking low iron levels to RLS.

However, no one that I’ve ever talked to has actually tested low.

This following excerpts may explain why …

It is well known that both acute and chronic inflammation, as occurring in infections, autoimmune disorders, chronic renal failure and also cancer – all conditions common in hospitalized patients – are associated with high ferritin levels.

From Stop The Thyroid Madness
Ferritin is an iron-storage protein which keeps your iron in a dissolvable and usable state, making the iron non-toxic to cells around it.  So when Ferritin is measured via a blood test, it is basically measuring the iron you have tucked away for safe use. 70 – 90 is often mentioned in literature as a goal, but other iron labs are important with it, as your ferritin can look good, but your other labs reveal the truth. Inflammation tends to thrust iron into storage, so you can’t just look at Ferritin.


Why the results may not be helpful include:
    Having conditions that cause inflammation in the body, such as from illness or from a surgery.
    Taking medicines, such as birth control pills and antithyroid medicines.
    Older adults may have a higher ferritin value.
    Eating a diet high in red meats.

I’m not saying this is why you tested normal or high for ferritin – it’s just something else to keep in mind if you are considering the possibility that RLS is directly linked to inflammation.


  1. sally said

    So interesting…just had my iron checked a second time due to my legs increasingly keeping me up
    and found for a second time I’m normal..I actually felt disappointed with good blood results,
    I was hoping to find the one culprit!

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