I'm not new to Hep C (from transfusions), and I am not a smoker or alcohol user just for information. I use prescription and OTC drugs as little as possible. Even though my viral load is in the millions my liver so far is stable, no cirrosis or spots.
My current concern is that my iron level is high which is not good for the liver. However, right now it seems my liver is stressed, because I can't take even one ibuprofen without brownish urine. And I need to have a surgery for something else unrelated.
I have several iron-overload symptoms, such as bronzed skin on my shins and feet and this troubles me. I would just go give blood, but I need a prescription for blood letting since my blood is not useable and blood banks won't take it as a donation.
........................................ .Reference range
Ferritin, Serum......303.........13 - 150
Transferrin............231........200 - 370
I need to show my doctor that my Ferritin level is bad for my liver, or else find another doctor to prescibe blood letting.
Does anyone know of some official (.gov or medical journals, etc) information on the importance of lowering the iron level when Ferriin is 'only' at 300?
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.
Yes what you shared does help very much. For one thing, I had been getting very stressed and depressed with just the very thought of approaching a doctor with these issues. I am encouraged with the verification of the things I have been learning and with getting new information.
I'm very sure local Blood Banks do require a prescription for phlebotomies, and there is a cost. It so happens that while there for another reason, my Naturopath MD told me he will probably refer me to his Naturopath Hematologist colleague, as she takes care of many Hep C patients. After all of my angst over finding a doctor that will listen, he told me he has no problem with writing a blood-letting prescription. That news really took a huge load off of me.
I gave the doc the couple of test results that I had done just to help me decide if this was anything I would want to even pursue. They may require other tests to be done and I am ready for that.
My doc agreed that even if my iron level may not be a technical 'overload', iron only adds to the inflammation and it's good to get the inflammation down every way feasible. So we shall see if I get a prescription for good old fashioned blood-letting! I am OK with whatever the decision is, though it would be really nice if I could get rid of the dirt look on my legs.
I don't know if you ever heard of Turmeric & fresh ground black pepper for liver detox, but it is not just good for the liver it also has pain relieving and cancer fighting qualities. Fresh ground turmeric and fresh ground black pepper can each be gotten at health food stores, and mixed 10 parts turmeric to one part pepper. Mix well, take one teaspoon thoroughly mixed in whatever fluid you prefer, 2 X a day. I prefer orange juice. I have read that it needs to be cooked and olive oil added. I am not convinced about that.
Thanks I did read the article in "PubMed" that treatment for Hep C usually doesn't work when there is an iron overload.