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Old aged, iron levels high. Possible outcomes?

G day my mother in law is 95 and has just had a blood test her iron level is 500 we understand the seriousness of this reading and would like to know what could be the outcome of this reading and what could be the possible causes. She is a nursing sister and not afraid of dying but your help in explaining the causes and possible outcomes would certainly be appreciated Thank you Fred Meyers
Asked On : Tue, 26 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  18
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Thanks for posting your query.

Normal iron level is less than 12 grams / 100 ml in women. 500 is far more increased and refers to hemochromatosis which is common in men but may occur in women, however it appears late in women due to loss of iron through menstrual cycle. Hemochromatosis can be genetic or acquired and may present with

chronic fatigue,arthritis/joint pain,hair loss,diabetes,abdominal pain,swelling,frequent infections,heart problems,cirrhosis or liver.

You need to perform labs like transferrin saturation, serum ferritin level, and liver function tests.Liver biopsy and MRI may be needed.

It can be treated by therapeutic phlebotomy, iron chelation therapy and dietary changes.

I advise you to send your mother in law to doctor for further evaluation.

Hope it helps.

Take care!
Answered: Thu, 28 Mar 2013
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