Ferritin is one of the essential types of body proteins, which controls the absorption and release of iron in the body. Ferritin is a type of globulin protein, which is produced by almost all the living organisms. It is extremely crucial as far as the health and well-being of a human body is concerned. Ferritin is a complex protein which is made up of around 24 subunits and it performs a major function of keeping the iron levels of the body in safer and non-toxic forms. Any increase and decrease in the ferritin levels of the body, directly affects iron secretion and the entire blood system of the body, for that matter. These types of fluctuations in the ferritin levels are caused by increased or decreased levels of ferritin. Certain reasons like genetic predisposition and various non-genetic factors like blood transfusion therapy, blood disorders, liver diseases like hepatitis, etc. may contribute to high ferritin levels. Increased ferritin levels causes various symptoms like fatigue, skin diseases and some serious cardiovascular diseases. Along with proper medications and healing therapy, there are a few easy things that can be done, in order to lower the ferritin levels. In the following section of the article, we will try to find out the ways to lower the ferritin levels of the body.
How to Lower Ferritin Levels in Blood
High ferritin levels are easily detected with help of a ferritin blood test. Normal range of ferritin for men is around 12 to 300 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), while for women, it is around 12 to150 ng/mL. Any fluctuations in these reference levels are considered as disturbed ferritin levels. In such cases, the health care provider may prescribe a few medications. Along with these medications, the person may also do the following things, in order to accelerate the healing process.
Limit Iron Consumption
Iron is the basic component that determines the health and amount of ferritin levels in blood. When a person is diagnosed with high ferritin levels, he/she should do a few things that may put control to the ferritin levels and stop them from increasing further more. Iron is one of the major components of foods that we consume on a daily basis. In order to control the iron intake, make sure that you avoid all foods rich in iron. Some of the foods that have higher amount of iron include, green and leafy vegetables, corn, watermelon, broccoli, potatoes, various types of beans, seeds, nuts, grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, cereals, wheat germ, etc. People with elevated ferritin levels should avoid the consumption of these iron food sources. Instead of these foods, one can consume foods that have low iron levels. If you are taking any dietary supplements, make sure that they do not contain iron. Avoiding foods that contain yeast, is also very important. However, make all the aforementioned dietary changes only after prior consultation with your health care provider.
Proper Medical Intervention
Proper medical follow-up is the most basic thing which is needed for people who are diagnosed with high ferritin levels. A professional health care provider is the best person to provide such patients with the best medicines like chelator drugs that control the blood iron levels. Such drugs also help the body in the removal of excess iron. People with high ferritin levels should also avoid all the dietary supplements like vitamin supplements, mineral supplements and antioxidants that contain iron. Amongst all types of dietary supplements, avoiding vitamin C supplements is a must. Vitamin C contributes iron secretion and hence, it is harmful for people with high ferritin levels. You may also use milk thistle for the treatment of elevated ferritin levels.
Donate the Blood
Blood donation is found to be one of the easy cures for lowering ferritin levels. According to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Medical Center, when certain amount of blood is removed from the body; it lowers the blood iron content and also the blood ferritin levels. Hence, patients with high ferritin levels are advised to donate blood on a frequent basis. You can register your name to a licensed blood bank and donate blood. However, make sure that you do not have any blood donation restrictions like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other such health conditions. Hence, it is always advisable that one should consult a professional health care provider and make sure that he/she is totally fit and eligible for blood donation. If the health care provider certifies the same, then donating blood would not be a problem.
Apart from all the aforementioned ways to lower ferritin levels, avoiding harmful habits like smoking and alcohol consumption also help to lower ferritin levels. People with high ferritin levels should also stay away from foods that can cause various types of infections. For instance, shellfish and red meat.