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Ferritin Blood Test

£39
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Results within 2 working days
Check for iron deficiency with our ferritin blood test which provides an accurate reflection of the amount of iron stored in the body. If you’re feeling fatigued or lacking energy, your iron stores could be low.
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your discount will be applied at checkout

WANT TO PERSONALISE YOUR TEST?

You can add extra biomarkers from as little as £5 to create a more comprehensive look into your health.

Dr Nicky Keay - Forth
“Ferritin, alongside Vitamin B12 (also known as haematinics) are required to make red blood cells. I would therefore recommend adding Active B12 and Full Blood Count (FBC) to this test which will give you a fuller picture of your health rather than a single haematinic.”

Dr Nicky Keay
Chief Medical Officer & endocrinology expert

What is an iron deficiency test?

An iron deficiency test checks your blood for ferritin levels. The amount of ferritin in your blood provides an accurate reflection of the amount of iron stored in your body. This ferritin blood test helps identify if your iron levels are low, and is therefore an indicator for iron deficiency. Depending on the extent of iron deficiency, this can result in iron deficiency anaemia.

The kit contains everything you need to do the iron test at home, in your own time. Simply order your kit, collect a blood sample and post it back to us and we’ll have your results within 2 working days of receiving your sample.

Why test
Ferritin levels?

The amount of ferritin in the blood provides an accurate reflection of the amount of iron stored in the body. Iron is an important component of red blood cells and it is required for their production. Because red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen around the body, iron also helps to keep your energy levels up. That’s because oxygen is vital for the production of energy by the cells in the human body and so iron will help to ensure red blood cells are properly developed and can effectively transport it

This iron blood test and helps identify if your iron levels are low which could cause iron deficiency anaemia, the symptoms of which include: extreme tiredness/fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin, heart palpitations and low mood.

How to test iron deficiency at home

Our iron blood test can be done from home by yourself using a simple finger prick test kit. The kit includes everything you need to collect a blood sample and post it back to us, including lancets for the finger prick, test tubes, wipes and plasters and pre-paid return postage and packaging.

Your secure results dashboard will show you your ferritin levels and our healthcare professionals will provide advice on any out of range results.

CHOOSE A HEALTH CHECK

Order your home blood test online and we'll deliver it straight to your door. The parcel is small enough to go through your letter box so you don't need to be at home.

COLLECT YOUR SAMPLE

Our finger prick blood test kit has everything you need. Just collect your sample, and return it to our accredited lab using the Tracked-24 envelope supplied.

FAST, ACCURATE RESULTS

Your blood test results will be reviewed by our healthcare team and uploaded to your health dashboard within 2 working days of receipt of your sample at our lab. Along with simple explanations and expert advice on how to make improvements.

What is Iron Deficiency Anaemia?

Iron deficiency anaemia is a type of anaemia that occurs when there are insufficient levels of iron in the blood. Iron helps your body produce a protein called haemoglobin, which carries oxygen around your body in red blood cells. As such, low levels of iron can cause you to feel tired and short of breath. Ferritin plays a key role in regulating the amount of iron stored in the body. Low ferritin levels is an indication of iron depletion and is therefore a marker for iron deficiency anaemia.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Symptoms of anaemia can vary depending on how long you’ve suffered from iron deficiency and how deficient you are. The symptoms can start mild and get worse as your body becomes more deficient.

Low iron symptoms include;

  • Pale skin
  • Fatigue
  • Very low energy levels
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Increased heartbeat

How can I Increase my Iron Levels?

One way to improve your iron levels is to include more iron in your diet. There are two types of iron, haem, and non-haem.

Haem iron is found in meat, particularly red meat such as beef, lamb, and pork. Whereas, non-haem iron is present in plant-based sources such as spinach, cabbage, nuts, and seeds. You can increase the absorbance of non-haem iron by pairing food sources with vitamin C and avoiding tea with your meal. Instead, drink tea afterwards or pair a green salad including spinach with a glass of orange juice.

Because iron can affect your energy levels, if you are deficient you may find your exercise capacity drops. Therefore, you may need iron supplementation, but you should consult medical advice before starting a new supplement. If you are training at a high intensity frequently, you will need to ensure you have adequate rest periods to allow your muscles to repair themselves and restrict iron loss.

Improved Levels
56%
of Forth customers improved their ferritin results between tests.
Dr Nicky Keay
the Experts Opinion

“Ferritin is probably a term you don’t come across often, but it is an important biomarker when measuring the level of iron in the body to check for iron deficiency. That’s because ferritin is the main storage protein for iron and gives a more accurate picture of the amount of iron in the body. If your ferritin levels are low and you are also suffering from fatigue, headaches, and low energy levels then you may have iron deficiency. If, on the other hand, your levels are high then this will need further investigation as high levels are associated with a condition called haemochromatosis.”

Dr Nicola Keay
BA, MA (CANTAB), MB, BCHIR, MRCP
Forth Chief Medical Officer

improve your unique self

Want to improve your health & wellbeing? Forth gives you insight into your body’s key biomarkers. By tracking essential markers overtime you can build a picture of your own unique self and discover how your body responds to the changes you make so you can reach your personal best.

Frequently asked questions

 Here are some of the most frequently asked questions. If you need anything else try our help section.

  • What causes low ferritin levels?

    Low ferritin levels can be caused by long-term iron deficiency and can lead to anaemia. It’s often caused by not consuming enough iron in your diet or through blood loss e.g. trauma, heavy periods, or pregnancy.

    Finding out early if your ferritin levels are low is important because iron deficiency can make you feel quite unwell and you may struggle to complete daily tasks. Plus, prolonged deficiency can result in anaemia.

  • What can cause ferritin levels to be high?

    High ferritin levels can be caused by a condition called haemochromatosis or iron overload. It is a disorder which results from too much iron being absorbed from the diet and is an inherited condition which usually manifests between the ages of 30 and 60.

    Iron overload isn’t the only cause of high ferritin levels. Kidney failure, chronic liver disorders and rheumatoid arthritis are all causes, too. High ferritin levels may also be present in overweight or obese people and can be a sign of inflammation in these individuals rather than iron status.

  • What is the difference between iron deficiency and anaemia?

    It is possible to be iron deficient without anaemia. If you have iron deficiency without anaemia then your haemoglobin levels will be normal. However, if you have iron-deficiency anaemia your haemoglobin levels will also be reduced, but both can cause similar symptoms.

  • How can I improve my ferritin result?

    One way to improve your result is to include more iron in your diet. There are two types of iron, haem, and non-haem.

    Haem iron is found in meat, particularly red meat such as beef, lamb, and pork. Whereas, non-haem iron is present in plant-based sources such as spinach, cabbage, nuts, and seeds. You can increase the absorbance of non-haem iron by pairing food sources with vitamin C and avoiding tea with your meal. Instead, drink tea afterwards or pair a green salad including spinach with a glass of orange juice.

    Because iron can affect your energy levels, if you are deficient you may find your exercise capacity drops. Therefore, you may need iron supplementation, but you should consult medical advice before starting a new supplement. If you are training at a high intensity frequently, you will need to ensure you have adequate rest periods to allow your muscles to repair themselves and restrict iron loss.

  • What are the symptoms of high ferritin levels?

    The symptoms of iron overload may be similar to low ferritin levels but include:

    • Fatigue
    • Weakness
    • Weight loss
    • Joint pain
    • Irregular periods in women
    • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Who is at risk of low ferritin levels?

    Diet is the main contributory factor to low ferritin levels. There are two types of iron available in the diet, haem and non-haem iron. Haem iron is present in meat and is absorbed better by the body compared to non-haem iron which is found in plant-based sources.

    Therefore, vegans and vegetarians are at an increased risk of iron deficiency and reduced iron stores because they do not eat meat. Although non-haem iron is the most predominant form in the diet, its absorption is affected by many other dietary aspects. For example, things like phytate in cereals, fibre, tannins in tea and calcium can block the absorption of iron in the intestine. Our data shows that vegan/vegetarians had significantly lower levels than those who do not follow a vegetarian diet.

    Exercise can increase the loss of iron, especially endurance and high-intensity types. That’s because red cell turnover is increased in athletes and they can lose more iron during heavy sweating.

    Our data found that women are at an increased risk of deficiency whilst female vegans/vegetarians had the lowest ferritin results.

    Women can be at risk of iron deficiency due to heavy periods where there may be excessive blood loss.

  • CAN LOW LEVELS OF FERRITIN AFFECT MY FITNESS?

    Yes, particularly because low ferritin levels are associated with fatigue and this can lower your tolerance for exercise. Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen around the body and energy metabolism, which makes it vital for completing aerobic exercise. So, low iron levels or iron deficient anaemia can reduce your exercise capacity.

    Equally, physical exercise can also be a cause for iron deficiency anaemia, particularly in menstruating female athletes. Some research has shown that iron deficiency is common in endurance athletes. The prevalence among female marathon runners is 28% compared to 11% in the general population*.

    *Wouthuyzen-Bakker, M. (2015). Exercise-Induced Anaemia: A Forgotten Cause of Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Young Adults. Br J Gen Pract: 65(634), pp 268-269.

  • CAN LOW LEVELS OF FERRITIN AFFECT MY MOOD?

    Iron is important for maintaining or boosting mood, especially as it helps deliver oxygen to the brain. Altered iron levels have been linked with modifying emotional behaviours such as mood, anxiety, and depression.

    People who have depression often have significantly lower ferritin levels compared to healthy individuals. Studies have shown raising ferritin levels from low to normal reduces the likelihood of depression.

    There are also suggestions that iron deficiency can cause feelings of anxiety, probably because of less oxygen being available to the various tissues of the body. Therefore, it is important to understand your ferritin/iron levels as these may be negatively affecting your mood.

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