What can cause high iron levels in blood?
An inherited genetic change is the most common cause. It’s called primary hemochromatosis, hereditary hemochromatosis or classical hemochromatosis. With primary hemochromatosis, problems with the DNA come from both parents and cause the body to absorb too much iron.
Is high iron levels serious?
Excess iron builds up the heart, liver, joints, pancreas, and pituitary gland. If untreated, it can cause organ damage, and lead to a heart attack, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, arthritis, depression, and premature death. The mutated gene for hemochromatosis can be passed on to your offspring.
What are the symptoms of high iron levels?
High blood iron usually affects the liver, where an overabundance of iron can result in liver swelling and damage. Symptoms of high blood iron include generalized abdominal symptoms, fatigue and lethargy, darkening of the skin, weight loss, and weakness.
How do you treat high iron levels?
Iron chelation therapy involves taking oral or injected medicine to remove excess iron from the body. Medications can include a drug that binds the excess iron before the body excretes it. Although doctors do not tend to recommend this as a first-line treatment for hemochromatosis, it may be suitable for some people.
What cancers cause high iron levels?
Leukemia cells show increased iron uptake and decreased iron efflux, leading to elevated cellular iron levels. The systematic iron pool in patients with leukemia is also increased, which is aggravated by multiple red-blood-cell transfusions.
What foods to avoid if iron is high?
Foods to avoid when you have hemochromatosis
- Excess red meat. Red meat can be a healthy part of a well-rounded diet if eaten in moderation.
- Raw seafood.
- Foods rich in vitamins A and C.
- Fortified foods.
- Excess alcohol.
Can high iron levels return to normal?
Once your iron levels have returned to normal, blood can be removed less often, typically every two to three months. Some people may maintain normal iron levels without having any blood taken, and some may need to have blood removed monthly. The schedule depends on how rapidly iron accumulates in your body.
Does high iron mean leukemia?
Current studies suggest that dysregulation of iron metabolism and subsequent accumulation of excess iron are closely associated with the occurrence and progress of leukemia. Specifically, excess iron promotes the development of leukemia due to the pro-oxidative nature of iron and its damaging effects on DNA.
What are the effects of too much iron?
Excessive iron can be damaging to the gastrointestinal system. Symptoms of iron toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. Over time, iron can accumulate in the organs, and cause fatal damage to the liver or brain. Toxic cellular effects occur as well.
What is the life expectancy of someone with hemochromatosis?
Most people with hemochromatosis have a normal life expectancy. Survival may be shortened in people who are not treated and develop cirrhosis or diabetes mellitus.
Can too much iron make you tired?
Too much iron (not too little) can cause serious health problems like fatigue, joint pain, diabetes and liver disease.
Can stress cause high iron levels?
Sustained stress is another cause of anaemia. Excessive stress hinders the manufacture of hydrochloric acid in your body, which is very important for the integration of iron and proteins. The deficiency of iron is equal to lack of haemoglobin and thus, anaemia.