Iron is a mineral that is essential for our body to grow and develop. Our body uses iron to make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, and myoglobin, a protein that provides oxygen to muscles. Iron is vital to the human body, but too much of its intake is dangerous. Iron can be hazardous in excessive quantities. It is strictly regulated within a person’s digestive system however, in some cases the body stores too much iron, which can in consequence cause a lot of damage to your health. You can use an iron overload test to check if your body has more iron in it than it requires for normal functioning.
Why Is Too Much Iron Bad for a Person?
Excess iron may build up in essential organs, including the person’s liver, pancreas, endocrine glands, and heart. It causes oxidative stress to develop, which harms enzymes, DNA, lipids and may cause cell death (apoptosis).
Furthermore, continuous iron excess has been linked to eye and liver damage, malignancy, and erectile problems. That is why people that have family members with this health problem should undergo an iron overload test to confirm if they have excess iron in their bodies and take appropriate measures and treatments as soon as possible.
What You Should Know About Iron Overload
Iron overload occurs when the body accumulates too much iron. This usually happens when the body’s regulatory mechanism fails to maintain the amount of iron in healthy ranges. Iron overload is not a very common health issue, but, it is an issue for people genetically prone to the high concentration of iron. The advice for those people is:
- Limiting iron-rich meals like red meat
- Therapeutic phlebotomy
- Preventing vit C mixed with iron-rich meals
- Limit alcohol consumption as it is bad for the liver
Furthermore, lowering iron levels is not suggested unless someone has been identified with iron excess.
Iron Overload Test: Why Should You Take It?
The iron overload test can determine whether the body retains too much iron than it is needed. It is commonly inherited, and it may harm a person’s body, including their liver, pancreas, and heart. An early diagnosis of these diseases could help stop, slow down, or even cure organ failure.
Sadly, most patients only learn that they already have iron overload after developing significant and dangerous iron overload or haemochromatosis disorders. For instance, iron overload may cause difficulties, particularly in the joints and regions where extra iron accumulates. That is why it is advised to undertake an iron overload test if you start having symptoms like joint pain, stomach pain, tiredness and irregular heartbeats.
The iron overload test may also help assess hemochromatosis’ seriousness and help you avoid more dangerous consequences. Consequences involve:
- Liver damage. Cirrhosis, or persistent liver damage, is a possible issue. Cirrhosis raises the chance of liver disease, as well as some fatalities.
- Diabetes. Pancreatic dysfunction may cause diabetes.
- Heart issues. Blood circulation is hampered by high levels of iron in a person’s heart. For example, iron overload may induce irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).
- Reproductive issues. Too much iron may cause infertility, decreased sex desire in males, and menstruation in girls.
- Alterations in skin colour. Iron accumulation in cells may give you a golden or grey complexion.
Iron is required for many activities that our body undertakes on a daily basis and it is essential for blood production. However, too much iron in our bodies is very harmful as it may harm the liver, induce arthritis, and create heart problems. Consequently, it is critical to screen for iron overload with an iron overload test to detect the condition early to avoid problems.