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Info about Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis is a medical condition defined as the overload of iron in the body. It can be hereditary disease or caused by frequent blood transfusions (in people suffering from hereditary or acquired anemias), iron poisoning, excess intake of dietary iron or other medical condition (liver cirrhosis, hemodialysis, etc.). There are several types of inherited hemochromatosis, and they are known as types 1, 2A, 2B, 3, 4, neonatal. Additionally, there are also cases of GRACILE syndrome, congenital atransferrinemia and aceruloplasminemia, rare types ofhemochromatosis.

People suffering from hemochromatosis are treated with regular phlebotomies (letting of the blood), at first once a week and then about one time per month. Drugs like deferoxamine, deferiprone or deferasirox are given to people who can’t tolerate phlebotomies.

Useful Tips

Patients diagnosed with hemochromatosis have to lead a certain way of life and try to reduce amount of iron their body absorbs. Vitamin C is well known to enhance absorption of iron so hemochromatosis patients should be careful about food containing this vitamin. Multivitamins with vitamin C and/or iron should also be avoided if the person is suffering from this condition, as well as any other food rich in any of these substances. Additionally, don’t take any drink rich in vitamin C 3 hours before or after any of the meals.

Calcium, on the other side, is said to slow down the absorption of iron. Because of that fact many patients suffering from hemochromatosis take some cottage (or other) cheese with their meals.

People also suggest taking lots of water, saying that it will also be beneficial to thin down your blood. Onions and alfalfa sprouts are believed to perform the same task for your blood, being helpful for patients suffering from hemochromatosis.

Tannins, present in dark teas like “Green Tea” or oolong tea can help you with the iron from your body, slowing the absorption of this mineral. Use decaf tea, because you might end up wide awake all night.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also beneficial for everyone. People suffering from hemochromatosis are more prone to strokes than other people and these fatty acids may be very helpful as preventive measure against stroke or heart-related problems.

Some also recommend milk thistle (also known as silymarin) extract for people diagnosed with hemochromatosis. Silymarin extract is suppose to protect the liver from potential harm caused by alcohol.

Avoid cooking in cast iron pans, because the food prepared in such a way may absorb the iron and cause further damage to your body.

Exercising is believed to help delivering more oxygen and at the same time increase depletion of iron from your body. Even simple physical activity like walking is helpful for hemochromatosis patients.

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