Hemochromatosis and Autoimmune Conditions

Laura

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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Open Access
Effects of phlebotomy-induced reduction of body
iron stores on metabolic syndrome: results from a
randomized clinical trial

Khosrow S Houschyar 1, Rainer Lüdtke 2 , Gustav J Dobos 1, Ulrich Kalus 3, Martina Broecker-Preuss 4, Thomas Rampp 1, Benno Brinkhaus 5 and Andreas Michalsen 5,6

Abstract
Background:
Metabolic syndrome (METS) is an increasingly prevalent but poorly understood clinical condition
characterized by insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. Increased oxidative
stress catalyzed by accumulation of iron in excess of physiologic requirements has been implicated in the
pathogenesis of METS, but the relationships between cause and effect remain uncertain. We tested the hypothesis
that phlebotomy-induced reduction of body iron stores would alter the clinical presentation of METS, using a
randomized trial.
Methods:
In a randomized, controlled, single-blind clinical trial, 64 patients with METS were randomly assigned to
iron reduction by phlebotomy (n = 33) or to a control group (n = 31), which was offered phlebotomy at the end
of the study (waiting-list design). The iron-reduction patients had 300 ml of blood removed at entry and between
250 and 500 ml removed after 4 weeks, depending on ferritin levels at study entry. Primary outcomes were change
in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and insulin sensitivity
as measured by Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA)
index after 6 weeks. Secondary outcomes included HbA1c, plasma glucose, blood lipids, and heart rate (HR).

Results:
SBP decreased from 148.5 ± 12.3 mmHg to 130.5 ± 11.8 mmHg in the phlebotomy group, and from 144.7 ±
14.4 mmHg to 143.8 ± 11.9 mmHg in the control group (difference -16.6 mmHg; 95% CI -20.7 to -12.5;
P < 0.001). No significant effect on HOMA index was seen. With regard to secondary outcomes, blood glucose, HbA1c, low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio, and HR were significantly decreased by phlebotomy. Changes in BP and HOMA index correlated with ferritin reduction.

Conclusions:
In patients with METS, phlebotomy, with consecutive reduction of body iron stores, lowered BP and
resulted in improvements in markers of cardiovascular risk and glycemic control. Blood donation may have
beneficial effects for blood donors with METS.

Trial registration:
ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01328210
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/53
 

Gimpy

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Nancy2feathers said:
Thank you Laura for all the research you have done on Hemochromatosis.
I'll second that. :flowers: :flowers: :flowers: :flowers:

The latest blood test from Monday showed that my ferritin level is at an 8.

I've been bleeding heavily for the last 3 months, and noticed an immediate difference after having an ablation done to stop that. Once recovery is established instead of 'just my feelings', the gene test is on the 'to do' list.
 

Voyageur

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Shijing said:
Ailén said:
These doctors don't prescribe a blood test to check the three parameters, unless you know what you are doing and ask specifically. So, for those wanting the test done, make sure you ask for serrum iron, ferritin and transferrin to be tested at once.
Thanks Ailén! I have an appointment this morning to have my blood tested, so I just wrote this down and will ask them to test all three when I go in.
Second that - thanks Ailén! Also Laura for adding the additional information.
 

Laura

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Whether you have high ferritin levels or not, there could be issues with iron.

I just received the book "The Iron Elephant:What You Should Know about the Dangers of Excess Body Iron" and after giving it a quick skim and reading some parts more carefully, I'd highly recommend it to everyone.

http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Elephant-Should-Dangers-Excess/dp/0963254707/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1365165271&sr=8-2&keywords=iron+elephant
 

Gimpy

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Ordered it used for about 8 USD from amazon. It's also offered cheaper than that from other vendors. :flowers:
 

Gaby

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Laura said:
Whether you have high ferritin levels or not, there could be issues with iron.

I just received the book "The Iron Elephant:What You Should Know about the Dangers of Excess Body Iron" and after giving it a quick skim and reading some parts more carefully, I'd highly recommend it to everyone.

http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Elephant-Should-Dangers-Excess/dp/0963254707/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1365165271&sr=8-2&keywords=iron+elephant
FWIW, there are cheap second hand copies here:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=Iron+Elephant%3A+What+You+Should+Know+about+the+Dangers+of+Excess+Body+Iron
 

Oxajil

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Thank you all for the info! I am starting to wonder now whether I'm experiencing the same problem. I also have a pretty slow bowel (though it is better now than before) and energy levels have decreased as well over the many months. Since I stopped using my cast iron cookware I have been feeling a little bit better, but I think this may be something I should look into more deeply. I also wonder whether my (on/off) amenorrhea is linked to this, as I read here (_http://www.livestrong.com/article/362875-signs-and-symptoms-of-too-much-iron-in-women/):
In women, iron buildup in the pituitary gland can cause amenorrhea, a lack of menstrual periods, although premature menopause doesn't often occur.
I can do a blood test, called "TIJBC" in the Netherlands (which tests for Ferritin, Transferrin, and Iron) without going to the doctor, but it costs about 89 euros, which is pretty expensive. I mailed the facility that does these tests and asked if I can have a discount on that. Otherwise I'll go to the doctor and ask the doc if I can have this test done. I will also get the book (thanks for mentioning!), I noticed however that there are two versions: one from 1992 and the other from 2001, so I guess having the latest version would be best?
 

logos5x5

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Thanks for this post. I started the Ketogenic diet since past September after being in the Paleo diet for more than 2 years and a half, so it was an smooth transition. I have felt extremely good since then, even better than when i was in the Paleo, with lots of energy and an amazingly clear mind :P, everything seems to be improving day by day.

But about five days ago, I started to feel very tired, with a foggy mind, my feet swelled a little bit, and I had some strange palpitations the second night since this started, and a strange stingy pain in the back of my left eye - i just felt the palpitations and the eye pain that night -, today I started to feel better but still tired. My health has been great until this strange period, and my gut is in great shape.

So, I went to a clinic laboratory for a full check up, including the "Iron Profile" and it seems that my ferritin levels are high :(:

Serum Ferritin : 460 ng/ml

Serrum Iron: 75 µg/dL

Iron Binding capacity:
Free: 224 µg/dL (Normal range: 150-250)
Total: 299 µg/dL (Normal range: 250-400)
Saturation: 25 % (Normal range: 20-50)

Transferrin: 228 mg/dL

Reference range:
Women: 192 a 382 mg/dL
Men: 180 a 329 mg/dL

Does this could be related to the symptoms that I have been feeling?
 

nicklebleu

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logos5x5,

A feeling of tiredness is such an unspecific symptom that it is very hard to know where it comes from. Also one should never forget "outside" influences which may cause or worsen such a state.

I wouldn't worry too much about the cause and just continue to optimize diet and your life in general as much as you can. From the lab results it would definitely be beneficial for you to decant some blood to lower your ferritin levels. You might find that after donating some blood or bloodletting 500 ml your symptoms may get better.

Hope that helps!
 

Laura

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nicklebleu said:
logos5x5,

A feeling of tiredness is such an unspecific symptom that it is very hard to know where it comes from. Also one should never forget "outside" influences which may cause or worsen such a state.

I wouldn't worry too much about the cause and just continue to optimize diet and your life in general as much as you can. From the lab results it would definitely be beneficial for you to decant some blood to lower your ferritin levels. You might find that after donating some blood or bloodletting 500 ml your symptoms may get better.

Hope that helps!
Yes, based on what I've been reading, it's a good idea for most people to donate blood regularly. There are exceptions, of course.
 

Yas

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logos5x5 said:
Thanks for this post. I started the Ketogenic diet since past September after being in the Paleo diet for more than 2 years and a half, so it was an smooth transition. I have felt extremely good since then, even better than when i was in the Paleo, with lots of energy and an amazingly clear mind :P, everything seems to be improving day by day.

But about five days ago, I started to feel very tired, with a foggy mind, my feet swelled a little bit, and I had some strange palpitations the second night since this started, and a strange stingy pain in the back of my left eye - i just felt the palpitations and the eye pain that night -, today I started to feel better but still tired. My health has been great until this strange period, and my gut is in great shape.
I have been feeling exactly the same... The last week has been a little hard because of this... Low energy, mild headaches, foggy mind, and pain in the back of both eyes... I also started feeling better yesterday. I thought it was a general inflammation due to food intolerance, so I decided to do some sort of fasting since Thursday, eating only VERY fatty meat broth (because I still don't have bone broth) as the only food and in small quantities. I feel much better today so I guess I'll eat normally again... Right now I'm making some more broth with spine bones included... :D I just love eating fatty broth. :P

I've made my blood tests on Friday, so I'll have the results next week. I hope my ferritin levels are fine, because I don't know if I can do the decantting. Some time ago, I wanted to donate blood for a friend who had an accident and they told me I couldn't do it because my weight is less than 50 kilos (45 kilos). Nevertheless, maybe if the doctor prescribes it as therapy, it will be different. Anyway, I'll see that once my results are done.

I actually had a funny time asking the doctor to include the ferritin test. He was fine with it but asked me why I wanted it, so I explained everything I've been reading here in a very summarized way but I couldn't remember the proper name of the condition (Hemochromatosis) (remember I said I have been with some mind fog? :P) But he knew about it and also couldn't remember the propper name so he searched for it in his "diseases handy book" and found it. He told me it is very common in Europe and the U.S.A. but not here. (I think this might be because normally it is not examined here). He seems like an honest doctor... not the best in terms of knowing all the things about diets, nutrition, the Big Pharma, etc., but he seems open to new data and information, so I guess I can recommend him some books. :D

Thanks a lot for putting all the info together! Once again, you are doing such a great job! :flowers:
 

Tomek

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Thanks for these precious informations. My ferritin level was 166 ng/mL 10 months ago. I guess I'm gonna give some blood.

Regarding the genetic test, I'm tempted to give some of my saliva to 23andme.com, who tried this before ?
 

Laura

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The take-home lesson from this is that there has been some genetic modification of some sort so there is a downside to the Paleo diet for many people. Apparently, when your iron is overloaded, some things affect you worse which is why people with high iron must not eat raw seafood. The bacteria in them are ferrophile and take off like crazy and can kill the person in 24 hours or so.

This book "The Iron Elephant" is hugely interesting especially in view of all the conditions that iron overload can cause or assist in manifesting. No wonder docs and pharma doesn't want to go there. People not knowing about it are sick and need drugs not the simple expedient of giving blood regularly.
 

Oxajil

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Jeez, well apparently one of the rules that allows a person to donate blood in the Netherlands is that you have to weigh more than 50 kilos. Unfortunately right now I'm just on 50 kilos, but most days under. So that won't allow me to donate blood :( I still sent them a mail to ask if there is a possibility whether I still am able to donate, i.e. whether there'd be the possibility for me to donate less than others do if I'd weigh less than 50 kilos. Also here, women may only donate blood max. three times a year, and men four times a year.
 
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