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        14 Apr 2014, 2:56 pm

        Rusty Hearts (Issue 51) by Tiamari

        The What's Up Article is the short version that was printed. You will find the longer version of the same article further down on this page.

        LIVE HEALTHY! Find the best source of Nutrients here!

        What's Up Article

        “Iron is nature's rusting agent. Having an excessive level of iron in your body is one of the most potent ways that your body oxidizes, or prematurely ages.”Dr. Joseph Mercola

        Just like oxidation causes metal to rust, too much iron will cause your body to deteriorate faster.Aside from type 1 diabetes, it is also common for high iron levels to cause cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

        Iron overload happens when too much iron builds up in the body over time. This condition is called hemochromatosis. Since your body is limited in the number of ways it can eliminate this excess iron, the iron eventually begins to accumulate in vital organs of your body such as your heart, liver, bone marrow, pancreas, skin and testicles. The result of this dangerous accumulation is the poor functioning of these organs.

        The way to reduce the risk is by eliminating iron stores. Donating your blood is an amazingly effective and inexpensive solution for this problem. Although reducing iron levels cannot reverse damage caused by hemochromatosis, it will reduce further harm.

        In some cases with males, symptoms may not surface until they reach 40-50 years of age.Females, on the other hand, who lose iron through their menstrual cycle, are more prone to iron accumulation after they reach menopause.

        The main idea is to control your consumption of iron, particularly from red meat.Taking iron in the short term is not the major issue, but over the long haul, it can be deadly!

        The Full Article

        “Iron is nature's rusting agent. Having an excessive level of iron in your body is one of the most potent ways that your body oxidizes, or prematurely ages.”Dr. Joseph Mercola

        Just like oxidation causes metal to rust, too much iron will cause your body to deteriorate faster.Aside from type 1 diabetes, it is also common for high iron levels to cause cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

        Causes

        Iron overload happens when too much iron builds up in the body over time. This condition is called hemochromatosis. Though primarily a genetic disease, it can also happen from years of taking too much iron or from repeated blood transfusions or dialysis for kidney disease. Since your body is limited in the number of ways it can eliminate this excess iron, the iron eventually begins to accumulate in vital organs of your body such as your heart, liver, bone marrow, pancreas, skin and testicles. The result of this dangerous accumulation is the poor functioning of these organs.

        One of the most common causes of excess iron is the regular consumption of alcohol. Alcohol consumed on a regular basis will increase the absorption of any iron in your diet. Other causes of high iron levels:

        • Cooking in iron pots or pans. Cooking acidic foods in these types of pots or pans will cause even higher levels of iron absorption. • Eating processed food products like cereals and white breads that are fortified with iron. The iron they use in these products is inorganic iron not much different than rust and it is far more dangerous than the iron in meat. Food supplies are often fortified with iron to compensate for the increased need that children and menstruating women have for iron.
        • Drinking water that is high in iron.
        • Taking multiple vitamins and mineral supplements, as both of these frequently have iron in them.

        Studies

        Studies showed that, as the level of iron goes up in your bloodstream, so does your risk for heart attack and stroke. A study by Japanese researchers also shows that high-level iron injections can cause almost immediate constriction of blood vessels: the normal blood vessel dilation was reduced by as much as one-third!

        Negative Impact

        • Iron is the ultimate ‘anti-antioxidant’. Excess iron produces the exact opposite effect of antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E. Also, it will cause the formation of free radicals that can seriously damage your body.
        • Increases your risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.
        • Increases your risk of cancer - iron is essential for cancer cells to grow.
        • Excess iron can destroy the cells that produce insulin in your pancreas and cause diabetes. While this may seem uncommon, it can happen.
        • Contributes to Alzheimer's disease - Excess iron accumulation in the brain is a consistent observation in Alzheimer's disease.
        • Increases the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.

        Diagnosis

        The routine screening for iron overload involves testing the iron and ferritin levels in the blood. Ferritin, a blood protein, acts as an effective measuring tool of the amount of iron being stored in the body.

        Since potentially serious complications could be treated with the early detection of iron overload, it's very critical to catch this condition in the early stages. Because it is not a common practice to check iron levels during routine checkups, many cases of iron overload are often overlooked.

        Signs of early hemochromatosis may include:
        • Fatigue
        • Weakness
        • Weight loss
        • Abdominal pain
        • Joint pain
        • Fluttering in chest

        As iron builds up in the body, common symptoms include:
        • Arthritis
        • Missed periods
        • Early menopause
        • Loss of sex drive
        • Impotence (repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse)
        • Heart problems like shortness of breath, chest pain, and changes in rate or rhythm

        Signs of advanced hemochromatosis include:
        • Arthritis
        • Liver disease, including an enlarged liver, cirrhosis, cancer, and liver failure
        • Damage to the pancreas, possibly causing diabetes
        • Chronic (ongoing) abdominal pain
        • Severe fatigue
        • Weakening of the heart muscle
        • Heart failure
        • Changes in skin color, making it look gray, yellow or bronze (not caused by sun)

        Treatment

        The way to reduce the risk is by eliminating iron stores. Donating your blood is an amazingly effective and inexpensive solution for this problem.

        Serum ferritin is the most effective measure of storage iron and this number needs to be reduced, ideally, to between 50 and 100. Nearly half of men have excessive amounts of iron and would benefit from donating their blood at least one to six times per year, depending on their iron overload status.

        Although reducing iron levels cannot reverse damage caused by hemochromatosis, it will reduce further harm. Arthritis is the only problem that does not improve after excess iron is removed.

        Who is at Risk?

        Most men have a problem with too much iron because it is not readily excreted through the body's usual methods of elimination such as urine, bile and sweat. The two primary ways men lose iron is by shedding of cells from the skin or gastrointestinal tract and by chronic or sudden blood loss.

        There are no warning symptoms of this disorder in the early stages. Because of this, most people are unaware they have this condition and only find out through a blood test of iron levels. In some cases with males, symptoms may not surface until they reach 40-50 years of age.

        Females, on the other hand, who lose iron through their menstrual cycle, are more prone to iron accumulation after they reach menopause, or 15 to 20 years later than men on average.Women who still menstruate have lower iron levels, which is most likely due to the iron lost during their monthly periods. Interestingly, women who have low iron levels are less susceptible to developing heart disease.

        There is a possibility that without menstrual bleeding and without the blood loss from a pregnancy women would build up iron levels which could increase their risk of cardiovascular disease. It was always thought that it was estrogen that made women less likely to die of heart attacks compared to men prior to menopause but this may not be the reason; it could be from the typical anemia found in premenopausal women from either menstruation or losing blood during the delivery of a baby.

        Women who suppress their bleeding with the continuous pill or by taking Depo injections should have their ferritin measured and consider blood donation to keep it in a normal range.

        Conclusion

        The main idea is to control your consumption of iron, particularly from red meat. Taking iron in the short term is not the major issue, but over the long haul, it can be deadly!

        Sources

        http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/12/15/iron-levels-blood.aspx
        http://www.noperiod.com/FAQ.html
        http://www.chastity.com/chastity-qa/birth-control/methods/depo-provera/depo-provera-
        http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20001025/too-much-iron-may-lead-to-heart-attack
        http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/3/501.full
        http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anemia.html

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