Tracking ferritin after blood donations

My last two blood tests flagged ferritin as low, and total iron as high. I don’t have anemia, and related markers like hemoglobin are all fine.

This is likely due to regular blood donations (after having done none for several years). Everything I had read indicated that 4-6 weeks should be plenty to recover, and while this may be true for red blood cell counts and hemoglobin, maybe not for ferritin.

Low ferritin in itself doesn’t appear to be harmful, but rather than risk developing anemia, I’ll reduce the donation frequency from 3 to 6 months, and retest iron-related biomarkers prior to the next donation.


Vertical lines mark blood donations (500ml whole blood). The grayish areas are the “reference” ranges.

1 Like

Source code here.

Looks like “total” iron has come back down to earth, and ferritin is slowly creeping up again. Serum iron levels are known to vary a lot, so I don’t know if I can blame the blood donations for upsetting the total iron values, or maybe I just ate more red meat in the days prior to the last test…

I’ll hold off a couple more months before doing another donation, and then stick with one donation every 6 months.