Medical Q&As

Iron

My doctor has told me that I have too much iron in my blood. What exactly does this mean and will it cause me any problems?

There is a condition called haemochromatosis in which excessive iron absorption leads to an increase in the total amount of iron stored in the body. This is reflected in the iron levels in the blood but excess iron is also deposited in several organs of the body including the liver, pancreas, various glands involved in hormone production and the heart. Treatment consists of taking blood from the body on a regular basis in order to reduce the total body load of iron. Blood is drawn off in much the same way as happens with giving a blood donation for transfusion purposes however I hasten to add that such blood is not suitable for donation. You need to clarify with your doctor if you do have haemochromatosis or if your blood test simply showed a result in the high end of the normal range. In the latter scenario nothing needs to be done.