Iron Overload Symptoms

Suffering from iron overload symptoms is also known as Hemochromatosis—an excessive amount of iron in the body. This condition can occur due to genetics, or obtained by getting iron injections, taking large amounts of supplemental iron or by getting too many blood transfusions. Even milder cases of iron overload can put you at increased risk for liver disease, heart attack and heart failure, diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis and death.

  1. Chronic fatigue. A constant feeling of weariness, listlessness and lethargy may be a sign of iron overload. This is because the excessive iron affects red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the rest of the body to help your body chug along efficiently.
  2. Skin discoloration. To hint at an iron overload condition, the hue of your the largest and most visible organ may change, due to iron deposits in epithelial cells. Depending on your natural color, you may darken, turn bronze, gray or green.
  3. Erectile Dysfunction. Penile stimulation includes the involvement of central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, vascular (blood flow) and hormones, among many others. Impotence or loss of libido may occur because of iron overload affects these systems, especially the testes and the pituitary gland. 
  4. Abdominal pain. High levels of circulating iron can build up in and affect many organs in the body, and many organs reside within the abdominal cavity. If you are being diagnosed by a doctor, or she will try and pinpoint the area of the abdomen where the pain originates when determining which organs are afflicted. The liver and the pancreas are two commonly affected organs by this condition.
  5. Joint pain. It is typical for excess iron to accumulate in joints and cause them to inflame, swell and feel tender. Therefore, joints that are too easily aggravated by motion, pressure, or weight-bearing exercise and activities can also be a symptom of Hemochromatosis as well.
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