Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: iron overload | blood | oxygen | anemia | hemochromatosis

Iron Overload Easily Treated

Monday, 05 March 2012 10:13 AM

Question: Can you explain what iron overload is? Is it difficult to treat?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

Iron is not a toxic heavy metal, but rather is a metal that is essential for human biology. Iron in the blood binds with oxygen and carries it throughout the body to the tissues. Too little iron in the blood results in iron-deficient anemia.

Anemia is corrected by increasing iron intake in the diet (eating more red meat) as well as taking iron supplements or administering it intravenously. However, iron overload can occur in 2 to 5 percent of people. (I wrote about iron overload and the genetic condition known as hemochromatosis in the July 2009 issue of my newsletter, Natural Way to Health.) The highest rates of iron overload occur in men and postmenopausal women.

Too much iron in the tissues leads to increased oxidative stress — an imbalance in the production of chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen — and multiple organ failure. Long-term iron overload can result in blood clots, liver cancer, heart attack, and even death.

The good news is that iron overload complications are entirely preventable. However, to prevent these complications, a proper diagnosis must first be established. Iron overload can be diagnosed using a simple, inexpensive blood test. This blood test should consist of a ferritin level reading as well as a full iron panel.

The treatment for iron overload is to avoid foods that contain refined flour (iron is often added to the flour) and to undergo periodic blood tests.

© HealthDay

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Iron overload can lead to organ failure if left unchecked, but once diagnosed it is easily treated by avoiding certain foods and having periodic testing.
iron overload,blood,oxygen,anemia,hemochromatosis
Monday, 05 March 2012 10:13 AM
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