What is high blood iron?

High blood iron is when your body’s iron level is too high. High blood iron is usually the result of hemochromatosis, a disease in which the body absorbs too much iron from the diet.

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Secondary hemochromatosis is a complication arising from certain diseases, and can also result when multiple blood transfusions are used in treating certain diseases. High blood iron usually affects the liver, where an overabundance of iron can result in liver swelling and damage. Symptoms of high blood iron include generalized abdominal symptoms, fatigue and lethargy, darkening of the skin, weight loss, and weakness.

Treatment for high blood iron is directed at removing excess iron from the blood, and this is most effectively accomplished by removing large amounts of blood from the body on a regular basis until blood iron levels normalize.

When identified early and treated appropriately, high blood iron can usually be reversed and poses few complications. If left untreated, however, high blood iron can result in severe complications, including liver failure, liver cancer, diabetes, and congestive heart failure.

Seek prompt medical care if you suspect you have high blood iron or if you are being treated for high blood iron and it is persistent or causes you concern.


What other symptoms might occur with high blood iron?

High blood iron may occur with other symptoms, which can vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Common symptoms that may occur along with high blood iron

High blood iron may accompany other symptoms including:


What causes high blood iron?

Normally, your body absorbs only the amount of iron it requires. With high blood iron, however, the body absorbs an abnormally large amount of iron from your diet, and this can result in serious complications. High blood iron is generally the result of a genetic defect or is acquired as a result of multiple blood transfusions.

Common causes of high blood iron

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Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation