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What causes high ferritin levels?

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Quick Answer

Some issues that raise ferritin levels in the body are hereditary hemochromatosis and alcoholic liver disease, according to MedlinePlus. Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and some forms of cancer, also cause high ferritin levels, notes MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

A simple blood test can indicate either high or low ferritin. Safe ferritin levels are between 12 and 300 nanograms per milliliter for men and 12 to 150 nanograms per milliliter for women, states MedlinePlus. Higher numbers than this indicate too much iron in the bloodstream, which, if untreated, can lead to problems that include sexual dysfunction, diabetes and organ damage. Hereditary hemochromatosis, a genetic predisposition to excessive iron storage, can go undetected for many years since it takes time for toxic levels of iron to accumulate in the body.

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