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  • Iron Overload Treatment

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    Old 01-21-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
    Lewis68
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    Iron Overload Treatment

    Hello,

    For a couple months I've been having symptons.

    Lightheaded
    Dizziness
    Heart palps
    Weakness
    Fatigue
    Weight loss

    After going to the ER 4 times and having Bloodwork, ekgs, xrays, Head CT scans etc. all normal. I had an Echo stress test also, normal. I had a physical from my GP, with bloodwork, all normal.

    I then went to another doctor who gave me an Iron test. Ferritin level was 355. She recommend I start donating blood. Which I did yesturday. However, after researching, I found the normal treatment is to have a pint taken once or twice a week until the level is normal. That requires a perscription though.

    First, any advice about what I should do, regarding treatment?

    Second, can high iron levels cause all these symptoms, or is there something else going on?

    Thanks in advance.

     
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    Old 01-22-2007, 12:45 PM   #2
    DesertBloom
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    Re: Iron Overload Treatment

    Hi: My husband was diagnosed with iron overload, years ago, and he had a unit of blood drawn once or twice a week until his count went down, they also check your iron count prior to the therapeutic phlebotomy, and the amount and frequency of this depends on the iron level. You do need a rx for this, and make sure the blood bank knows you have hemachromotosis, if you're just donating it.

    The symptoms you're having sound very similar to those that my husband had, but I would see a hematologist, if you aren't already to make sure that this is the only problem. Sometimes, like all med problems, these things can be misdiagnosed, so have it check by a specialist just to cover all the bases and to see if you have any other blood related disorders.

    Good luck...

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-22-2007 at 01:16 PM.

     
    Old 01-23-2007, 03:32 PM   #3
    Lewis68
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    Re: Iron Overload Treatment

    Hi Desert. Thanks for replying.

    I went to my doctor today. However she didn't seem like the Iron Overload was an urgent matter. She only gave me a prescription for 250ml drawn once per month until Ferritin is below 100. Does that seem a little slow? I asked her why not more aggressive. She said we dont want you passing out on us. I have lost weight (now 150lb), but I think I can handle once a week for a little while.

    Any comments?

     
    Old 01-23-2007, 05:02 PM   #4
    DesertBloom
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    Re: Iron Overload Treatment

    Hi Lewis: I wouldn't be able to tell you if your drs recommendation is slow, because she might have some other reason for doing it that way, like your loss of weight, someother blood count problem, or your ferretin level. It's not unusual to draw once or twice a month depending on you ferretin level, and to discontinue it "altogether" when you reach the goal score. Some people start at once or twice a month then go to every couple of months depending on the results. Since the purpose for doing this is to reduce the iron count and make you slightly anemic, they need to test your iron each time to see where you're at. The so called normal level of iron varies greatly from lab to lab, so maybe her comment about getting it down to below 100 is based on that.

    Fortunately this type of problem is easily treatable if you truly have iron overload and not something else that would raise the iron level. Most people do well just drawing blood until the goal is reached and, like my husband, never have to have it done again. Like I mentioned this can be misdiagnosed, so make sure that you check other medical problems that cause iron overload like liver or inflammation problems. If these things have already been checked then I would think your dr is on the right track. You can follow your progress by keeping track of how much your iron decreases each time they draw the blood, so that way you'll know if it's working properly. Just ask for your count each time they check it and keep track of that progress. If your count should go up, I would imagine the dr would increase the draw to more often, so don't worry too much, since they will be watching the count the whole time to determine the continuation or non continuation of the treatment. The only reason my husband had it done 1-2 times a week was because he had an extremely high count with suspected liver problems (Hep B).

    Good Luck...

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-23-2007 at 05:07 PM.

     
    Old 01-23-2007, 05:18 PM   #5
    Lewis68
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    Re: Iron Overload Treatment

    Hi Desert,

    Thanks for the info.

    If you don't mind me asking, what was your husband's inital level.

     
    Old 01-24-2007, 10:47 AM   #6
    DesertBloom
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    Re: Iron Overload Treatment

    Boy I wish my memory was that good... He had this problem 15 years ago, and I don't remember what it was, only that it was really high. I'll ask him, and see if he remembers it.

    Last edited by DesertBloom; 01-24-2007 at 10:50 AM.

     
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