7

votes

Could we have Iron Overload?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 28, 2010 at 1:59 AM

Can we be eating too much redmeat/ egg yolks etc?

It is also possible to have too much iron deposited in the body tissues. This condition is known as iron overload. If the iron overload becomes severe (usually when the total amount of iron in the body exceeds 15 g), the condition is diagnosed as hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis can result in serious damage to the body's tissues, including cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure, diabetes, abdominal pain, and arthritis. A recessive genetic mutation can put some people (e.g., those of Irish or Celtic descent) at a higher risk for developing hemochromatosis. Treatment for hemochromatosis consists of removing blood from the patient to decrease the amount of iron in the body, and treating the symptoms (e.g., liver disease and diabetes).

Being of Celtic descent, this concerns me... Additionally because Ive removed iron chelators from my diet(grain phytates)

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:38 AM

A variety of apheresis procedures can cause transient hypocalcemia, because citrate solution is infused to keep blood from clotting inside the apheresis machine. This is what causes the tingling in the lips. It usually goes away in a short while, especially if you are vitamin D replete and eat something nutritious after donating.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on June 29, 2010
at 12:48 PM

I said the thread was related, not a duplicate. I like your question.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on June 29, 2010
at 01:37 AM

I see it now, but it's more about blood donation and still vague about excess iron... I do donate at least 2-3x year

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on June 29, 2010
at 01:36 AM

That post is about blood donation more than excess iron in diet...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2010
at 09:29 PM

here is a link with more info on hunter-gatherer women http://foragers.wikidot.com/female-reproductive-adaptation

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2010
at 09:14 PM

melissa, what was your ferritin level?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on June 28, 2010
at 08:55 AM

Oh, just seen at the top that Ed has already posted this link - sorry....

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on June 28, 2010
at 03:37 AM

Also see this related thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/1060/should-i-donate-blood-on-a-regular-basis-to-stay-paleo

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9 Answers

5
9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

on June 28, 2010
at 03:58 AM

If you're worried about your iron levels and don't want to reduce meat, you can always take an Apolactoferrin supplement witch is available online at places like vitacost.com

Lactoferrin is a naturally occurring compound that strongly binds to iron. It has antimicrobial activity and is present heavily in breast milk.

Its main function is binding and transport of iron ions so it is said that most people experiencing iron overload don't really have too much iron, but have too low lactoferrin so it stays in the blood instead of being transported to the cells.

I recommended apolactoferrin instead of lactoferrin mainly because the apolactoferrin has been deprived from iron so it will bind even more iron than regular lactoferrin witch comes attached with iron.

Hope this helps.

4
Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7

(678)

on June 29, 2010
at 12:35 AM

Donating blood is really a great option. I have a high but normal iron level. 17.3 dl/L or something like that. Still within the normal, healthy range, but on the far end of it. This might have to do with my diet, my exercise routine, and being Irish. I also have Type O negative blood so I am the universal donor. The Red Cross has a machine that will allow you to donate two units of red blood cells at once while pumping the rest of your plasma and what not back into you. It's kinda trippy, you get the tingles on your lips and forehead when it comes back in because your plasma has cooled to room temperature so I assume it's the muscles shivering.

If you have high iron and you donate blood, your body will put the extra iron you are ingesting to work by creating new RBCs so while I'm not a doctor, I don't believe the iron would build up if your body is constantly needing to reproduce RBCs. I personally believe that it improves my fitness because my body is forced to function under high levels with less RBC and it becomes more efficient. My VO2Max levels are pretty good when I am at full blood capacity.

And lastly, and most importantly, you are doing the community a quality service by donating blood. By doing the Double Red donation, you can only do it three times a year. The Red Cross wins because they get 6 units of blood instead of 5 and you win because you only have to go 3 times a year. And if your iron count is high, the units come out quickly and you don't have to sit at the cantina afterwards, it takes an extra 15 minutes total, if that. And the Red Cross is in desperate need for blood. How would you feel if a loved one died in a car accident and you didn't donate when you could have? Taking a pill to pass iron through your system seems like a waste of a gift. If you have high iron, please donate and help save a life or two.

121a16aded2bed8dca492d3c9662ef4c

(1327)

on April 01, 2012
at 09:38 AM

A variety of apheresis procedures can cause transient hypocalcemia, because citrate solution is infused to keep blood from clotting inside the apheresis machine. This is what causes the tingling in the lips. It usually goes away in a short while, especially if you are vitamin D replete and eat something nutritious after donating.

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 28, 2010
at 03:27 AM

I would get your iron levels checked. It's the only way to know. I'm Celtic and recently had bloodwork done and my levels are normal...though as a woman I well...naturally give blood every month.

I know people who have had abnormally high levels- I guess they are genetically adapted for agriculture. Giving blood is a possible solution in that case, as is restricting meat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2010
at 09:14 PM

melissa, what was your ferritin level?

1
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on June 28, 2010
at 03:02 PM

My father had hemochromatosis and gave blood every month to treat it. Since it was genetic in his case, and could have been passed to me, I told my doctor. She then ordered a simple blood test to check the iron level. Had the test results been high she would then have ordered the more expensive genetic test. If anyone is concerned about their iron level it might be worth having it checked, if for no other reason than peace of mind.

1
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on June 28, 2010
at 12:19 PM

There is a product called inositol hexaphosphate (aka IP6) that acts as an iron chelator. You take it for about a month, on empty stomach and between doses of any other supps as it'll also clear out a number of vitamins. I am having blood work done soon and will have my iron checked as 1) I'm a guy and 2) do not give blood.

0
835cf89ca6571c6f5df5da33d85db83a

on June 11, 2014
at 04:19 PM

I realize this is an old thread, but I'm one who has hereditary hemochromatosis. Found out this year when I went into congestive heart failure. My ferritin level was 26,205, but is now 5,205. That's down 80%, but still 100X above normal. I give blood (phlebotomies) twice a week, 250 ml each time. This is a slow process so I'm interested in pursuing other avenues, namely IP6 and Apolactoferrin. Thanks for the info.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2010
at 09:12 PM

I read that in the US 20% of women of child-bearing age are anemic, usually because of heavy periods. If you fall into that category I think you should have your ferritin level checked. Mine was 5 (i've heard you start to feel better when it is around 70). 9 months of eating paleo with more red meat did not budge my ferritin level. I'm on iron supplements now.

i've read one theory stating that since hunter-gatherer women had their onset of menstruation later, followed by cycles of getting pregnant (no period) and breast-feeding for years (no period), they did not have problems with anemia related to blood-loss through menstruation. anyone with anymore info on this?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2010
at 09:29 PM

here is a link with more info on hunter-gatherer women http://foragers.wikidot.com/female-reproductive-adaptation

0
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on June 28, 2010
at 08:54 AM

There has been a post already covering this in the archives here including a very interesting conversation about the build up of iron in the body and giving blood on a regular basis, you may like to look at it. The conclusions were that, yes, build up of iron can happen with serious consequences, however the body has automatic processes in place to regulate iron levels naturally.

I think eating lots of iron rich foods is generally better than not eating them - seems like striking a happy balance between the two extremes would be the solution.......

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on June 28, 2010
at 08:55 AM

Oh, just seen at the top that Ed has already posted this link - sorry....

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on June 29, 2010
at 01:36 AM

That post is about blood donation more than excess iron in diet...

0
Dc12fef4f7c25d968ab11be99f3eaba7

(45)

on June 28, 2010
at 02:33 AM

I'm interested in thoughts on this, too. The reason it worried me is because I have multiple sclerosis, and I've been reading some new research that shows MS is linked to a venous disorder called CCSVI, where there is narrowing of the veins of the head and neck and therefore excess iron gets deposited in the brain causing neurological symptoms. For now, I'm not tooo worried, because it seems to be more prevalent in people with more severe MS, and my case is pretty much benign. But I'd still like to know more about this subject to hopefully put my mind at ease!

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