Iron Overload~ Have you had your ferritin checked? Organs rusting
High Ferritin Levels and You
This article is a case study of one of my patients from 2020. At the time he was 37, and a military veteran who had been exposed to a ton of different materials, including shots, anthrax, and more. I particularly want to focus on his iron status.
When he came to me, the patient had been suffering from the following symptoms:
- Chronic neck and back nerve pain
- Muscle loss
- Joint and tendon deterioration
The Case Study
As usual, I ran a wide range of blood tests to see what we could find. The labs came back with 19 markers that were just above or below optimal range (not bad, but not great), 12 which were above or below standard range (needs to be addressed soon), and 3 which were alarmingly high.
The Patient’s Numbers
Two of his three alarmingly high markers were iron-related, and his other iron markers were also high. Overall, I determined that he had too much iron in his body, something that none of his other doctors even tested him for.
For example, his ferritin levels were at 613. The typical range is between 40 and 150, but I prefer to see ferritin levels between 40 and 80. His high iron markers also affected other markers around his body’s systems. For example, his liver was not functioning well due to iron overload.
Why Are High Iron Levels Bad?
Iron likes to get stored all around your body, particularly in your organs. I like to tell clients that a bike made of steel or iron, when left out in the rain, will begin to rust. When you have too much iron in your body, your organs begin to essentially rust. They will begin to shut down and lose proper function.
This happens because your cells are overloaded. This prevents mitochondria from properly producing energy. When there is a lack of proper energy, you begin to have chronic pain. You may also experience other neurological symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping.
What Can You Do About High Iron Levels?
In severe cases, you may get a prescription to have blood drawn every two to three weeks to reduce your body’s iron levels. Thankfully, in most cases, there are a couple of ways you can fix high iron levels yourself.
First, you can donate blood. Your blood system uses a lot of your body’s iron, so donating blood regularly can help reduce the overall levels of iron in your body. This also helps others who are in need of blood transfusions, so you can save lives while fixing yourself. It’s a win-win!
You also can stop eating foods high in iron to reduce your levels. Iron-rich foods include meat (particularly red meats and pork), seafood, dark leafy greens, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Reducing your iron intake, even if it is just temporarily to get your iron levels down, will force your body to use up the iron it has stored across your systems.