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Hemochromatosis

High iron and lots of ailments/symptoms....

10/31/2007

Question:

Looking for help….

A friend, a 50 year old woman, has several symptoms that have not been put together and sound like they may indicate hemochromatosis or some other iron-related problem since her iron is elevated.

Results of the Iron Panel FROM October 2007: Total Iron = 195 MCG/DL TBIC = 372 MCG/DL % SATURATION = 53% FERRITIN = 59 NG/ML

It should also be noted that her vitamin D is only 16, the vitamin D, 25-OH, D2 is <4, and vitamin B12 was 329 PG/ML.

Her symptoms are as follow:

1) Nearly two years ago, she began to feel very fatigued regularly 2) Abdominal pain (under the right rib cage) has been consistent for more than one year 3) Rapid deterioration in vision 4) On-going pain in upper right arm, other joint pain, and tingling in the hands and feet 5) October 2006 – Diagnosed with Hashimoto Disease and Hypothyroidism a. Subsequently had two thyroid surgeries – one lobe was removed during the first surgery and the pathology report came back as plasmacytoma. The other half was removed three months later. 6) Liver proteins have been off a little and she has had abdominal ultrasounds, CTs, and MRIs to try to diagnose the abdominal pain. The earliest results showed two tumors on the liver that the gastrointestinal physicians believe to be hemangiomas, although no biopsy has been done. Since that time two more have been found. 7) In August, a small brain tumor was found and a Pet-Scan was done that indicated possible Meningioma, but again no biopsy has been done. The Pet-Scan also showed two areas that were defined as calcium deposits with possible indication of small vessel disease. 8) Two recent abnormal EKGs 9) Has been experiencing mental confusion, dizziness, exhaustion etc…. 10) Additionally, a small amount of mixed grandular (?) protein has been found in her urine.

She had an iron panel in January which showed results in the normal range as indicated below: Total Iron = 80 MCG/DL TBIC = 362 MCG/DL % SATURATION = 22% FERRITIN = 66 NG/ML

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness.  Unfortunately, it is beyond the scope of this website to provide a diagnosis.  However, I can offer some general information.

In this situation involving your friend's iron studies, although the iron saturation is actually slightly elevated, the ferritin suggests that there is no evidence of iron overload.

Certainly these current iron studies would not explain her very complex history.  Obviously she has a lot of different things going on that could cause her to feel poorly, but iron does not appear to be one of them.

For more information:

Go to the Hemochromatosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University