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In case a person suffers from iron deficiency in the blood, it can prove to be extremely damaging to that person’s body, as well as his/her overall health. But it is not only the lack of iron in blood a reason for concern, because in case the levels of iron are too high, then this can also prove quite damaging to the body of the person in question. The latter condition is already a well-known one, and the official term for it is iron overdose/toxicity, which refers to the condition in which occurs a piling up of excessive amounts of iron. Despite the fact that iron itself is extremely beneficial and bears great importance when it comes to the overall health of our body, its lack or excess are known to have the potential to bring a whole lot of damage to our body, impairing its most vital functions, as well as the proper functioning of its most vital organs. And of course, the greatest majority of people is well aware of the iron deficiency and its consequences, but not many are aware of the severe consequences that the excess of iron levels can have on our health. Under regular circumstances, the body is able to take in 10% of iron coming from the food rich in this substance – seafood, meat, green vegetables, grains and alike, and is also able to determine what amount of iron is to be taken out of our bodies through the process of passive excretion. However, in certain number of cases, body manages to take in no less than 30% of iron, which in the course of time can lead up to the absorption rate that is 5-20 times greater than average and than required by our body. And it is exactly this that leads to harmful piling up of iron.

The commonest culprits

Among the most common culprits for the excessive levels of iron in the person’s body are the following:

Hemochromatosis – it falls into the category of genetically influenced conditions, and is inherited from one of the parents of the person in question. The primary culprit is an occurrence of a defect in a HFE gene, passed down from one parent to the child, which is responsible for the excess absorption of iron.Massive dietary doses – those persons who are already taking iron based supplements should at all times keep good track of the dosage so as not to get overdosed. For infants and children aged 1 to 10 the recommended dosage is 10 mg. Boys 11 to 18 years of age should not take more than 12 mg, whereas girls from 11 all the way up to 50 years of age 12 mg. The dosage for men of age from 19 to 50 is 10 mg on a daily basis, and for women over 51 also 10 mg.

Other most frequent causers are alcohol and substance abuse.

Symptoms and treatment methods

As far as the symptoms are concerned, they include such as weakness, fatigue, muscle impuissance, loss of hair, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, lowered libido, enlarged liver, pigmentation of skin, bronze skin color, impotence, and diseased joints. When it comes to the treatment, first of all, certain lab tests ought to be conducted. After determining the causes a person should keep of from consuming alcohol, shellfish and supplements based on iron.

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