Re: Hep C and
Hi Tree Frog! Most Blood Banks require a prescription from a hematologist for "therapeutic phlebotomy" so you might call your local blood bank and confirm this.
If you need a scrip from a hematologist, the easiest way to break through the medical firewalls would be to ask your GP or Hep-C doc for a referral to a hematologist, which should be justified and warranted by your high iron levels in your lab results.
A hematologist shouldn't blink an eye at writing a scrip for phlebotomies, as this is what they routinely do so this would be an easy way to go.
One thing you might need to consider is... Ferritin can be elevated due to inflammation and/or infection (including Hep-C), as ferritin is an "acute phase reactant". That is, when your body senses inflammation, it produces extra ferritin to help scour any free iron out of the blood to prevent this iron from feeding viral or bacterial infections (which it does!).
The acute phase ferritin may not contain as much iron as ferritin would under normal conditions, thus it is possible to have elevated ferritin without actual iron overload when infection or inflammation is present.
A full iron study including serum iron, transferrin saturation, and the calculated total iron binding capacity would confirm an elevation in ferritin as truly indicating iron overload. You should have this done by your GP or Hep doc before you ask for a referral to a hematologist.
Regarding documentation of high iron as dangerous for someone with your condition, "PubMed" is the US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health, site which contains many peer reviewed studies published in journals of hepatology and infectious disease, which should provide legitimate information your doctors should respect and give consideration.
What I have noticed regarding high iron and Hep-C is, that aside from contributing to inflammation and progression of fibrosis, treatments for Hep-C are much more likely to fail when iron is high, and much more likely to work when iron is low. If you are considering attempting to treat your condition, lowering iron would greatly increase the odds of success.
Best of Luck to You, & I hope this helps.
Last edited by BillinSD; 07-30-2012 at 08:00 PM.