Light Bulb Moment Regarding Advising Iron

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Light Bulb Moment Regarding Advising Iron

Post by sleepdancer2 »

A discussion today caused me to rethink my ever-ready advice to check one's ferritin level and take iron to get it up. Not once did it cross my mind to include a disclaimer. A 60 yo acquaintance with MSA, or Multiple Systems Atrophy, was just diagnosed with Thalassemia. It is a hereditary blood disorder most common in those with some Mediterranean ancestry. For those who don't have the full fledged disease, but rather just the trait, it can appear like chronic anemia. I know this because I have a daughter and 3 grandkids with it. For 9 years her doctor had me pushing iron, but an astute new doctor ordered more extensive iron testing and discovered her diagnosis. These persons cannot process iron properly, and giving them iron supplementation can result in iron overload and cause damage to the brain and organs. Why it took doctors 60 years to discover this woman's blood disorder I'll never understand. Now I can't help but wonder if her MSA may be related to iron buildup. From now on I will add testing for Thalassemia to my suggestion for ferritin level testing. Just in case.
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Re: Light Bulb Moment Regarding Advising Iron

Post by Polar Bear »

You would thinkwhile you were encouraging iron intake with your daughter without great success, that further iron investigations might have been an option - a simple blood test.

I haven't previously heard of this condition and did a little searching. Here in UK all pregnant mothers are checked for this trait and if it is found the father is offered a check. Newborn babies aren't routinely checked for it but it is sometimes picked up in the 'heel test'.
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