Iron out your iron intake

  • By Team TDO

When its levels are below normal, it causes anaemia but too much of iron also causes health problems. In our body iron is stored in form of hemoglobin in red blood cells, and myoglobin in muscle tissue.

Excess of iron is called unbound iron,and causes lot of damage to coronary artery, heart & liver. Severe iron overload also affects genetically susceptible people. This condition is called haemochromatosis. Its symptoms are usually after 35 years of ages.

Its Signs & Symptoms are:

  1. Skin pigmentation.
  2. Heart failure
  3. General weakness & lassitude
  4. Ischemic heart disease
  5. Atherosclerosis

Symptoms of iron overload are:

  1. Gastric pain
  2. Hair loss
  3. Frequent Infection
  4. Skin discolouratation
  5. Elevated liver enzymes

Iron intake from meat is more easily absorbable than plant foods. Vitamin C increases absorption of iron. Dairy product can decrease absorption of iron.

In cases of doubt of iron overload or iron deficiency, blood test should be done. People should never take iron supplement unless diagnosed, otherwise results could be dangerous.

Phlebotomy or removal of blood is done to reduce stored iron in patients who have iron overload. Iron chelation with drugs like desferrioxamine also helps in excretion of excess iron stores.

 


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