How does blood poor in iron taste

Iron Excess: Is Too Much Iron In The Blood Dangerous?

If you have too much iron in your blood it could either be genetic or it could be caused by your diet. In any case, you should have an excess of iron - in medical jargon hemochromatosis -not to be taken lightly. Because the overconcentration of the trace element can have negative consequences for your health. In our photo show you will find a small overview of the foods that contain a lot of iron. You should avoid these if you have an iron surplus.

The consequences of an increased iron content in the blood

In general, iron is one of the most important trace elements for the human body. It is an essential component of the red blood pigment hemoglobin and ensures that the blood is adequately supplied with oxygen. The normal value depends heavily on gender and age, but is between 4 μmol / l and 30 μmol / l for women and between 6 and 30 μmol / l for men.

If the iron content in the blood is too high, there is a risk that everyday life will be made considerably more difficult because the excess iron is deposited in the organs. According to the Baden-Württemberg State Medical Association, the consequences are often tissue damage and symptoms of poisoning in the liver, pancreas, heart, pituitary gland or joints.

Symptoms of too much iron

These changes are then noticeable through pain. Whether abdominal cramps, joint pain or a stinging in the chest. These are all reactions of the body to the increased level of iron. If you experience these symptoms and you suspect you may have an excess of iron, you should see your doctor for an examination.

"Iron overload describes the condition in which excess iron is deposited in important body organs. These are typically the liver, the heart, but also many glands, such as the pancreas. And all of these organs can be restricted in their function in the long term by this iron overload "explains Dr. Karl-Anton Kreuzer from Cologne University Hospital across from Deutschlandfunk. The possible long-term effects are also dangerous. According to, this includes serious illnesses such as liver cirrhosis, diabetes, heart failure or pancreatic cancer.

Dangers and causes

An excess of iron in the blood can have various causes. In most cases it is hereditary hemochromatosis. According to, the metabolic disease is caused by a mutation in the HFE gene, which controls the absorption of iron from food. In hemochromatosis (iron storage disease), the body absorbs more iron from food than it needs and can dispose of, so excess iron accumulates. Without treatment, blood iron levels can rise dangerously.

However, various other causes can also lead to so-called secondary hemochromatosis, an acquired iron overload. This can especially happen after frequent blood transfusions. Excessive consumption of iron-rich foods - especially meat, but also whole grain products or nuts - can also contribute to this. The danger here is that no effects are visible during this. It is all the more difficult to then fight the consequences.

Prevention and treatment

To avoid the danger, you should pay attention to an appropriate diet. The body is dependent on the supply of iron - but the ratio has to be right. Remember that animal products are high in iron. If the iron values ​​are elevated, a close-knit laboratory check is usually carried out. If you are diagnosed with an excess of iron, the most common treatment method, according to, is bloodletting.

Blood is drawn at regular intervals until the iron balance has recovered. This can take a few weeks or months at best, a year or a little longer at worst. As soon as the iron balance has normalized, regular bloodletting is only necessary two to four times a year. Drug treatment is also available, but this is rarely used because bloodletting is easier and just as effective.

Important NOTE: The information is in no way a substitute for professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The contents of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.