Iron supports many vital body functions, as it increases concentration, provides the body with energy, in addition to helping the digestive system and the immune system perform their functions. Iron also helps regulate body temperature.

Iron is a component of hemoglobin, which is the main red blood cell protein that carries oxygen, so iron deficiency in the blood causes iron deficiency anemia, which is the most common type of anemia. (2)

Iron remains beneficial to the body as long as it is within the normal range, but the iron level in the blood may rise for a number of reasons, including hemochromatosis. In this article, we discuss the most important reasons for the increase in iron in the blood, and we learn about the most common symptoms. (1)

hyper iron in the blood

An increase in iron in the blood indicates an increase in the stock of iron in the body, which is often due to a disease, as the patient’s body absorbs a lot of iron from food. Hemochromatosis often results from a genetic condition. (3)

Excess iron in the blood affects the pancreas, heart, and liver, causing swelling or damage in some cases. The effect of excess iron on the liver appears in the following symptoms: (1)

  • Darkening of the skin.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lethargy and exhaustion.
  • Abdominal disorders.

Reasons for excess iron in the blood

The reasons for the increase in iron in the blood are due to the body absorbing large amounts of iron more than it needs, and this is often due to genetic factors, which we mention as follows: (1)(4)

Primary hemochromatosis

Primary hemochromatosis is a genetic mutation that is inherited and causes increased iron absorption, which is one of the main causes of excess iron in the blood. The white race is the most susceptible to this mutation. (4)

Secondary hemochromatosis

Secondary hemochromatosis is the cause of excess iron in the blood, and it is an acquired disease, not hereditary, resulting from the following factors: (4)

  1. Types of anemia, such as:
  2. injury, or liver disease caused by alcohol.
  3. Receiving doses of oral iron supplements or injections.
  4. Kidney dialysis for many years.

Juvenile hemochromatosis

Juvenile hemochromatosis causes iron overload in adolescents, and it is a genetic mutation that is common in the age period between 15 and 30 years, and complications appear in diabetes and disorders in sexual development. (1)(4)

Neonatal hemochromatosis

Neonatal hemochromatosis occurs as a result of the expectant mother’s immune system secreting antibodies that attack the fetus’s liver. This results in the accumulation of iron in the liver of the fetus or newborn very quickly, and the increase in iron may threaten the life of the infant immediately after birth, which is non-hereditary condition. (4)

Transfusion

A person may develop an increased level of iron in the blood as a result of frequent blood transfusions. (1)

Symptoms of excess iron in the blood

Symptoms of excess iron in the blood do not appear clearly, as they are usually difficult to diagnose, and begin to appear a little after middle age, or after menopause in women. We list below the most common symptoms of excess iron in the blood: (4)

  • Lose weight.
  • Small testicles in males.
  • Irregular or absent menstruation in women.
  • Fatigue and general weakness.
  • abdominal pain
  • Pigmentation of the skin and turning it into a copper or bronze color.
  • Loss of sexual desire.

Doctors recommend the need to monitor symptoms and seek medical advice when they are noticed, in order to prevent complications, as excess iron in the blood can be treated in several ways, perhaps the most used is removing excess amounts of iron from the blood. This method is often applied by getting rid of amounts of blood periodically depending on As determined by the doctor, until iron levels return to their normal level. (3)

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