Hemochromatosis or Iron overload is when the body intakes and stores more iron than required. This iron is stored in the liver, pancreas, and heart resulting in organ damage and many other complications. 

Why Is Iron Essential for the Body?

Iron is a vital mineral in the body that promotes oxygen transport, energy production, healthy pregnancy, and the list goes on. Iron is easily found in many food sources including plants and animals. Some of the foods include red meat, fish and seafood, leafy green vegetables, and nuts. Iron is more important for the body but if the level increases it leads to health issues. Balance is important. 

Why Is Too Much Iron Dangerous?

Excessive iron levels in the body can be harmful. Check out some of the major reasons: 

Organ Damage Due to High Iron Levels

Accumulation of iron in organs such as the liver, heart, and pancreas can damage tissues and impair their normal function. This can lead to conditions like heart disease, and diabetes. 

Iron Toxicity

Iron toxicity occurs when there is too much iron in the body. It can happen if someone accidentally takes too many iron supplements or consumes substances with high iron content. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can harm the liver, heart, and nervous system. Seeking immediate medical help is the best solution. 

Nutrient Absorption

Excess iron can interfere with the absorption of other essential nutrients like zinc and copper, leading to deficiencies in these minerals and associated health issues.

What Are the Symptoms?

Early symptoms usually have the following indications: 

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Stomach pain
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Heart failure
  • Liver failure
  • Diabetes


Excessive iron levels in the body can result from various causes. Here are some common factors that can lead to high iron levels.

Hereditary Cause: It is the most common cause of iron overload. In hereditary hemochromatosis, the body cannot regulate iron absorption properly, leading to excessive accumulation of iron in various organs.

Blood Transfusions: Individuals who require regular blood transfusions, such as those with certain types of anemia or chronic blood disorders like thalassemia, can accumulate excess iron over time. This is because each blood transfusion introduces additional iron into the body, and the body has difficulty excreting the excess iron.

Excessive Iron Supplementation: Taking high doses of iron supplements without medical supervision can lead to iron overload. This can happen if individuals take more iron than their body requires or if they have underlying conditions that affect iron absorption and utilization.

Iron-Rich Diet: Although it is rare, excessive consumption of iron-rich foods or iron-fortified products combined with poor iron regulation can contribute to high iron levels in some individuals.


In most cases, doctors would suggest a phlebotomy procedure, in which excessive iron is removed from the blood. The process is simple and safe.

Once the phlebotomy is done, the excess iron is removed from the blood and then return to the normal level. After that doctors usually reduce the phlebotomy process gradually to once every 1 to 3 months, eventually 2 to 3 times a year.  

Final Words

A proper diet and regular exercise can beat any disease and encourage good health, but still, there are some unavoidable conditions involved like genetic factors. So, it’s better to stay positive in any situation and trust the process.