Q:

What causes high iron in human blood?

A:

Quick Answer

Hemochromatosis, absorption of excess iron from foods, stems from heredity or as an acquired disease. This condition is more prevalent for men than for women, and when it shows symptoms, male patients are generally between 50 and 60 and women are typically over 60, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

While some of the earlier symptoms include weakness, joint pain and fatigue, these are easy to overlook as simply part of the aging process. By the time symptoms show up in one's fifties, organ damage from the excess iron has led to such problems as diabetes, impotence, loss of libido and even heart failure. Hereditary hemochromatosis is present in the body from birth, but it takes decades before the patient is aware, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

The complications from hemochromatosis vary with the symptoms that spur the patient to seek treatment and the speed with which the patient decides to visit the doctor. Delaying treatment after the first signs of organ damage can make the damage permanent, causing other complications. The doctor puts together an individualized treatment plan based on the organs that the hemochromatosis has already affected, so patients who follow the treatment plan avoid such complications as pancreatic disease, liver failure, liver cancer and congestive heart failure, notes Mayo Clinic.

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