Altered ferritin can indicate anemia and inflammatory diseases

Ferritin is a protein produced by the liver. Its main function is to store iron molecules to subsidize the production of red blood cells. The dosage of this protein, carried out through blood tests, is of paramount importance in the investigation of anemic syndromes, as well as in the determination of inflammatory diseases. “Low levels of ferritin are useful in the diagnosis and management of iron deficiency anemias. They are relatively common in childhood and in women of childbearing age, in the latter group due to increased menstrual volume. treatment is based on iron replacement, either orally or, in selected cases, intravenously,” emphasizes Unimed Araxá hematologist Leandro Gustavo de Oliveira.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of patients with elevated ferritin levels. The vast majority by an inflammatory mechanism, whether due to chronic diseases (heart failure), dysmetabolic conditions (diabetes mellitus, fatty liver disease, obesity and dyslipidemia) or alcohol abuse. “The big difference between these conditions is that treatment should not be done with bleeding, but with control of the underlying condition, whether with exercise, a balanced diet, weight loss or weight loss. “Correct use of drugs to control diabetes, cholesterol or heart failure. In cases of excessive alcohol use, suspension or drastic reduction of consumption is the rule,” he explains.

In addition to these, infectious causes are also considered, such as coronavirus infection and dengue, both in the acute phase of the disease. In these cases, ferritin expresses the inflammatory level triggered by the infectious agent. “The normalization of ferritin levels should accompany recovery from the infectious state”, explains Dr. Léandro.

Hereditary hemochromatosis is one of the causes of hyperferritinemia, a technical term used to describe increased ferritin levels. It is a rare family disease, the origin of which is southern Europe. The patient has elevated ferritin levels and consequent iron deposition in target tissues, particularly the heart, liver, pancreas, joints, and skin. “If not diagnosed at the start of the manifestations, it can lead to dysfunction of several organs (cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure) and early death. This is the only condition in which periodic bleeding is effective, with some exceptions,” he concludes.

Unimed Araxa

A reference in the segment, Unimed Araxá currently has 200 collaborating doctors in the most diverse specialties and has more than 40,000 beneficiaries and 650 contracting companies in the towns of Araxá, Ibiá, Campos Altos, Perdizes, Pedrinópolis, Tapira and Pratinha.

The cooperative began its activities on May 11, 1989 to respond to the desire of the medical profession to offer dignified and ethical service to clients and to broaden the scope of action of the members of the cooperative. Since 2017, it has had its own hospital, which has the most modern and efficient in the region and which also includes an imaging diagnostic center and a modern clinical analysis laboratory. More recently, a modern oncology center was opened in the same premises. The segment offers chemotherapy structure for solid tumors and blood tumors.

In her Multidisciplinary Clinic, she offers exclusive care provided by professionals such as psychologists, nutritionists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. Next to the central building, it also offers an integrated team and health programs aimed at improving the quality of life, health promotion and disease prevention at Espace Viver Bem.

The authorized service network also includes six hospitals, 15 laboratories, 33 clinics, in addition to approximately 300 direct employees.