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Ferritin Blood Test

Feel tired and low on energy? Our ferritin blood test will help identify whether iron deficiency could be the cause. It measures the amount of iron stored in the body which is a good indicator of iron deficiency anaemia that causes fatigued or low energy.
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Did you know?

3% of men and 8% of women have iron deficiency anaemia

What is ferritin?

Ferritin is a protein that contains iron and is the primary form of iron stored inside of all cells. In most cases it’s a good indicator of your global iron levels. Iron is important for functions beyond red blood cell production, it’s implicated in sleep quality, immune function and even thyroid function so you may find some benefits to increasing your levels. In the event of increased activation of your white blood cells, ferritin can be released into the blood stream so we often use it as a surrogate marker for inflammation.

What does a ferritin blood test check?

If you are feeling tired or fatigued then you could be low on iron. Ferritin is the best way to check for iron deficiency as it gives an accurate measurement of the amount of iron stored in the body.

How to check ferritin levels at home

You can check your ferritin and iron levels at home with our finger prick blood test kit. The kit includes everything you need to collect a small blood sample, including lancets, tubes, plasters and free return postage to send us your sample. The test only takes a couple of minutes to complete and once the results are at our lab, you’ll receive your results within 2 working days, along with comments from our doctors.

Frequently asked questions​

This is what our customers ask us most about this test. For more information, try our help centre.

  • What are low ferritin levels?

    Generally, guidance uses the lower limit of 20ug/L as the cut off for an abnormally low ferritin level. At Forth we like to go a little beyond the ‘normal’ to ensure health is optimised. If you speak to many doctors who deal with problems caused by low ferritin (Dermatologists, Sleep Consultants, Sports Medicine Doctors) the recommendation would be to try and achieve a level of around 100ug/L for optimal function. Due to the complexity and ubiquity of iron in multiple biological systems this higher level means that your body has an adequate supply of iron for all its needs.

  • How to increase ferritin levels?

    A once daily iron supplement can be useful whilst endeavouring to increase the iron content of your diet (red meat, leafy green vegetables). If you elect to take an iron supplement then make sure you take it with a citrus fruit juice on an empty stomach to maximise absorption.

  • How to reduce high ferritin levels?

    The first step is to understand why your ferritin levels are high, to make sure you take the right steps. You may need to change lifestyle factors such as diet and alcohol consumption.

  • What foods are high in iron?

    There are two types of dietary iron: heme iron, found in animal products, and non-heme iron, found in plant and fortified foods.

    Sources of heme iron include red meat, poultry and fish. Sources of non-heme iron include legumes, beans, fortified foods and leafy green vegetables.

  • How much iron should I have a day?

    The UK government recommends a daily iron intake of 4.7mg for male adults and 8mg for female adults[1]. However, women with heavier periods may need more iron. The maximum amount of iron that your body can absorb is around 60mg of elemental iron per day. Any more than this and your Hepcidin starts to inhibit iron transport across your gut wall.

    [1]Department of Health: Dietary Reference Guidelines

  • How soon with the test arrive?

    If you order your test before midday on a Monday to Friday then your kit will be dispatched the same day.

    All our kits are sent out via Royal Mail first class post, so it should be with you within 1-2 working days.

  • Can I have someone take my blood for me?

    Yes. We offer two options if you do not want to do our finger prick test. The first is a home appointment where a nurse comes to your home to take a blood sample. The second is to visit a Phlebotomy clinic near you that offers a blood sample service.

    A blood sample will be taken from your vein and we will provide you with everything you need to give to the nurse to allow them to take the sample.

    The nurse will give you the blood sample to return to us using the pre-paid envelope provided.

  • Does a doctor review my results?

    We have a team of doctors and nurses who look at all results and will comment on any results that are outside of the normal range for your age.

  • Can I download the results to share with my GP?

    Yes, you can download your results from your health dashboard as a PDF to share with your GP.

    Learn how to export your results.

We are dedicated to supporting you on improving your health

Recommended by doctors

"Elevated ferritin levels can be indicative of inflammation and have been linked to high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In contrast, low levels can indicate iron deficiency, which can lead to anaemia as well as reducing sleep quality, immune function and even thyroid function."
Dr Thom Phillips

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What is a health marker?

Biomarkers are specific compounds we can detect in your blood sample that reflect different things about your health. Your test will tell you your levels for each of the above biomarkers, and whether they are in a normal range.

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About flexible subscriptions

How does a subscription work?

When you purchase this test subscription plan, we will automatically send you another test kit in a few months. Don’t worry – you have full control over when this will be, and you can change/cancel it anytime.

When you first purchase this test, you can choose your subscription options in the checkout. We do this, because we recommend taking multiple tests over time to track how your health markers change. You’ll be charged per test kit (rather than monthly, for example).

Why subscribe to multiple tests?

One test will show you what areas you need to focus on, continued testing will help you learn how your training, diet and lifestyle is impacting your health.

How often should I test?

We recommend a follow up test 3 months after your first test, followed by a test every 6 months depending on your results, but its up to you!

Can I change what’s tested in future tests?

Yes, you can tailor/customise subsequent tests (via your app) to focus on just the areas that need improving.

Blood sample collection options

You can choose your preferred collection method when you checkout

Finger prick kit (FREE)

You can do this test at home without the need for a doctor. We’ll send you everything you need to collect your sample and post it back to us. And it’s all included in the cost. We’ve put together a video that covers the process, making it easy to check and track your health from home.

Home nurse appointment (+£60)

We’ll arrange for a medical professional to visit your home and collect your sample. This is great if you’re unsure on how it all works or have trouble collecting a sample. No need to book a doctor’s appointment or visit a clinic, we’ll send you everything you need to collect a sample and post it back to our labs.

Visit a partner clinic (+£45)

Once you’ve ordered your test, look out for an email from our phlebotomy partners containing information and a link to book your appointment. We’ll send you everything the clinic will need to complete the sample and post it back to our labs.

Organise a nurse myself (FREE)

If none of the above options work for you, you can arrange your own medical professional to collect your sample. There is no additional charge for this. Once you’ve ordered your test, we’ll send you everything you and your chosen medical professional will need to collect a sample and post it back to our labs. 

Still unsure how it works? You can find more information on collection methods and the service we provide in our ‘How it Works’ section.

How does it work?
1. Choose your blood test

No need to wait for a GP appointment, choose from our wide range of tests which come with everything you need to take your sample and return to our lab.

2. Collect your blood sample

Take your finger prick blood sample at home, or choose to have your blood taken at a Superdrug health clinic or a nurse at home. Return to our NHS lab using our prepaid envelope.

3. View your results

View your results on your secure health dashboard within 2 working days of our lab receiving your sample. Read personalised comments from our GPs.

4. Make improvements

With more in-depth results, you will be able to identify areas that need improving. Make the changes and track your progress.

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