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Ferritin 4.2 means : Is it normal, good, bad or dangerous

Ferritin 4.2 means : Is it normal, good, bad or dangerous

In this article we discuss what a Ferritin of 4.2 means, together with its causes, and whether it is good, bad or normal. We also look into the significance of Ferritin 4.2 in pregnancy.

Updated Date : 2024-04-02T19:24:21.681+00:00

What is Ferritin?

Ferritin is a protein responsible for iron storage. It is produced in organs like the liver and spleen. Dietary sources of iron, such as poultry, beans, and fortified cereals, impact ferritin levels. Its function is to store iron securely, releasing it when the body needs iron for processes like supporting immune function and energy production.

How is Ferritin measured?

To measure ferritin, a blood sample is taken, with fasting recommended for preparation. In labs, techniques like radioimmunoassay (RIA) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are frequently utilized to accurately quantify ferritin levels and assess iron status.

What are the causes of ferritin of 4.2?

Ferritin of 4.2 have different causes, as listed below.

Chronic Infections

Persistent infections, such as tuberculosis or HIV, can contribute to chronic inflammation, leading to low serum ferritin levels.

Autoimmune Atrophic Gastritis

Autoimmune atrophic gastritis is a condition where the immune system damages the stomach lining, affecting iron absorption and contributing to low serum ferritin levels.

Malabsorption Disorders

Conditions like celiac disease, Crohn's disease, or inflammatory bowel disease can impair the absorption of iron, contributing to low serum ferritin levels.

Liver Diseases

Conditions like chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis can impact iron storage in the liver, leading to low serum ferritin levels.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Impaired production of erythropoietin in chronic kidney disease can contribute to anemia and low serum ferritin levels.

Medications

Certain medications, such as proton pump inhibitors or antacids, can interfere with iron absorption, leading to low serum ferritin levels.

Thyroid Disorders

Conditions like hypothyroidism can affect iron metabolism, resulting in low serum ferritin levels and contributing to iron deficiency.

Inflammatory Conditions

Chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus can interfere with iron metabolism, resulting in low serum ferritin levels.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Surgical procedures that alter the digestive system, such as gastric bypass surgery, can impact iron absorption, leading to low serum ferritin levels.

Blood Donation

Regular blood donation without adequate iron replacement can deplete serum ferritin levels, as each donation removes a portion of the body's iron stores.

What is the normal range of Ferritin and how is a Ferritin of 4.2 graded?

Normal Ranges of Ferritin vary according to the age and gender. The ranges are considerably different in adults, children and pregnant women. Refer to the tables below for your exact range.
What are the normal ranges in children?

Age Range Reference Range (ug/L) Is your child deficient?
4 to 15 days 99.6 - 717.0 If your child is aged between 4 days - 15 days, a ferritin level of 4.2 is lower than normal.
15 days to 6 months 14.0 - 647.2 If your child is aged between 15 days - 6 months, a ferritin level of 4.2 is lower than normal.
6 months to 1 year 8.4 - 181.9 If your child is aged between 6 months - 1 year, a ferritin level of 4.2 is lower than normal.
1 to 5 years 5.3 - 99.9 If your child is aged between 1 year - 5 years, a ferritin level of 4.2 is lower than normal.
5 to 14 years 13.7 - 78.8 If your child is aged between 5 years - 14 years, a ferritin level of 4.2 is lower than normal.
Reference : Ferritin normal ranges in children.

What are the normal ranges of ferritin in pregnancy?

Range Inference Ferritin : 4.2
<12 Low Ferritin - Anemia You are here
12 to 45 Normal Ferritin
More than 45 High Ferritin - Could lead to diabetes in pregnancy
Reference : Ferritin and Anemia in PregnancyGestational Diabetes Mellitus and relation to Ferritin

What are the normal ranges in adult men?

Range Inference Ferritin : 4.2
<15 Low Ferritin - Anemia You are here
>15 - 35 Below Normal but not anemia
35 - 220 Normal
>220 Higher than normal
Reference : Ferritin Reference Ranges in Adults

What are the normal ranges in adult women?

Range Inference Ferritin : 4.2
<15 Low Ferritin - Anemia You are here
15 to 136 Normal Ferritin
More than 136 High Ferritin
Reference : Ferritin Reference Ranges in Adults

What does a ferritin level of 4.2 mean?

A level of ferritin 4.2 is considered to be very low, and you will probably be experiencing various symptoms related to iron deficiency. This means that the amount of iron in your body is greatly reduced and may have been so for a long time.

Is ferritin 4.2 good?

Ferritin 4.2 is not good, and you have a high chance of being deficient in iron.

Is ferritin 4.2 bad?

Ferritin 4.2 is bad for health, as you will experience effects of iron deficiency.

Is ferritin 4.2 dangerous?

Ferritin 4.2 is just above the minimum measurable range and poses risks from the effects of iron deficiency.

Is ferritin 4.2 low?

Ferritin 4.2 is very low, and you will experience various symptoms of iron deficiency like tiredness, fatigue, difficulty climbing stairs, breathlessness, repeated infections.

What foods will help increase a ferritin of 4.2?

The following list of foods can help boost ferritin levels of 4.2. However, it is important to remember that

Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for iron

Consider getting upto 1 serving per day.

Oysters, eastern, cooked with moist heat

Consider getting upto 3 ounces per day.

White beans, canned

Consider getting upto 1 cup per day.

Beef liver, pan-fried

Consider getting upto 3 ounces per day.

Chocolate, dark, 45%–69% cacao solids

Consider getting upto 1 ounce per day.

Cantaloupe, diced

Consider getting upto ½ cup per day.

Rice, brown, long or medium grain, cooked

Consider getting upto 1 cup per day.

Tomatoes, canned, stewed

Consider getting upto ½ cup per day.

Raisins, seedless

Consider getting upto ¼ cup per day.

Suggest a weekly diet plan for increasing ferritin levels of 4.2

Low levels of ferritin cannot be managed by diet alone. More often that not, iron supplments are required. Consult your doctor for appropriate medical advice. The following diet plans may help to supplement iron in your food.

Monday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Breakfast cereal fortified with 100% DV for iron Chickpeas (boiled and drained, ½ cup) Beef liver (pan-fried, 3 ounces)

Tuesday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Breakfast cereal fortified with 100% DV for iron Tomato (canned, stewed, ½ cup) Potato, baked, flesh and skin, 1 medium potato

Wednesday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Breakfast cereal fortified with 100% DV for iron Chickpeas (boiled and drained, ½ cup) Turkey, roasted, breast meat and skin, 3 ounces

Thursday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
White beans, canned, 1 cup Lentils (boiled and drained, ½ cup) Potato, baked, flesh and skin, 1 medium potato

Friday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Tofu (firm, ½ cup) Lentils (boiled and drained, ½ cup) Potato, baked, flesh and skin, 1 medium potato

Saturday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
White beans, canned, 1 cup Lentils (boiled and drained, ½ cup) Oysters, eastern, cooked with moist heat, 3 ounces

Sunday

Diet Plan to improve ferritin of 4.2
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
White beans, canned, 1 cup Cashew nuts, oil roasted, 1 ounce (18 nuts) Beef liver (pan-fried, 3 ounces)

What are some symptoms of a ferritin of 4.2 ?

A ferritin of 4.2 will usually show symptoms of iron deficiency. These will include various symptoms including those listed below.

Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances

Desire to eat items with no nutritional value

Weakness

Decreased strength and stamina

Difficulty concentrating

Finding it hard to focus or concentrate

Pale skin

Skin may appear paler than usual

Irritability

Feeling easily annoyed or agitated

Pica

Eating non-food items like ice, dirt, or clay

Soreness or inflammation of the tongue

Pain or swelling in the tongue

Dizziness or lightheadedness

Feeling faint or dizzy

Brittle nails

Nails that are fragile and prone to breaking

Poor appetite

Reduced desire to eat or loss of appetite

Dr.Bhargav Raut - Profile Image

Reviewed By -

Dr.Bhargav Raut is a qualified Pathologist, with over 5 years of experience in the field
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