Although investigations into the role of iron in MS are still few, many high-resolution MR techniques have shown stored iron regions inside the brain and spinal cord.
If we look at experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS, dietary modifications have revealed an incidence of EAE in 70% of mice with a normal iron level or iron overload, but 0% in iron-deficient mice. This is clear evidence that iron deficiency protects against the progress of MS in mice with induced EAE, with obvious clinical implications (Grant et al, 2003).
Authors have speculated that the failure of iron-deficient mice to develop EAE is impressive, but controversial as iron deficiency may lead to much more serious health hazards. However, they conclude that any of the pharmaceutical approaches to inhibiting EAE are less effective than iron deficiency.
: What iron levels are considered "suspicious" for iron overload/hemochromatosis?
A: A percent of saturation of more than 40% and/or a serum ferritin of more than 150 are considered suspicious for iron overload/hemochromatosis. It is important to note that in some patients, the percent of saturation can be quite high while the ferritin rather low (this is often the case in children or young adults in their 20's) or conversely, with normal percent of saturation and a high serum ferritin. Genetic testing can, in most cases, confirm the diagnosis so that treatment can begin. Ask your doctor about liver function tests, if these are also elevated, that is another possible sign of HH.
Q: How is a diagnosis for iron overload/hemochromatosis confirmed?
A: Confirmation of a diagnosis is based on a combination of several factors; these will vary from doctor to doctor on which ones are used: a.) Elevation of iron tests such as transferrin saturation and serum ferritin b.) Elevation of liver enzymes (abnormal liver function tests) c.) Symptoms (diabetes/heart disease/arthritis/impotence/infertility/bronzed skin, liver disease) d.) Liver biopsy showing hepatic iron index (HII) and such liver diseases as cirrhosis/cancer e.) DNA genetic test (results are available between 1 to 14 days depending on the lab used) f.) CT/MRI/Ultrasound of the liver showing deposition of iron in the liver or hepatoma(s) (liver tumors). g.) Quantitative phlebotomy (a trial series of six weekly phelobotomies to confirm diagnosis; if the hematocrit remains 35% or greater immediately prior to each phlebotomy. Six weeks of weekly bloodletting is another way to confirm iron overload, hemochromatosis) h.) Alpha Fetoprotein bloodwork ruling out liver cancer due to HH. i.) EKG to rule out heart damage from HH. j.) Family history of iron overload, especially parents/siblings, who should also be screened with transferrin saturation and serum iron and genetic tests for comparison. If no family history of diagnosed hemochromatosis, check family medical history for symptoms of undiagnosed HH, such as heart disease, early heart attacks especially in men (in their 30's), liver cirrhosis/cancer, diabetes, arthritis, impotence, infertility, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.
Hemochromatosis and Hypothyroidism
Identifying and Treating This Iron Overload Condition
By Mary Shomon,
A little known condition that affects the blood is more common in people who are hypothyroid and those 40 to 60 years of age. Hemochromatosis -- also known as genetic iron poisoning or iron overload disease -- is an inherited disorder that results from excessive iron absorption from food. Hemochromatosis is the most common genetic disease in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to an estimated 37 million "silent carriers" of hereditary hemochromatosis, the U.S. has another 2 to 3 million Americans who are at high risk for having hereditary hemochromatosis
Algis wrote:Cant we just draw half liter of blood and see by ourselves how we feel?
If it feel better; just check for how long; donate or even discard your blood...?
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