There is a common misconception not only among the general public, but also from over the counter advice, that if someone is fatigued it must due to an iron deficiency. The oversimplification of the causes of fatigue sometimes results in ill advice from over the counter, or often overlooked in a 10 minutes consultation with a GP.
In the past, organic food made widely available has provided us with a balanced diet rich in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Today processed food does not deserve to be called food, and justified supplementation may be necessary. Supplementation with some “over the counter” or purchased online supplements should not be taken lightly and iron supplementation is one of them.
What may happen if iron supplement are taken?
Hemachromatosis is a serious condition caused by an iron overload. The most important causes are hereditary haemochromatosis (HHC), a genetic disorder, and transfusional iron overload, which can result from repeated blood transfusion. Organs commonly affected by haemochromatosis are the liver, heart, and endocrine glands.
Haemochromatosis may present with the following clinical syndromes:
- Cirrhosis of the liver: Varies from zonal iron deposition to fibrosis (cirrhosis).
- Diabetes due to selective iron deposition in the pancreas to functional failure and cell death.
- Cardiomyopathy is a “heart muscle disease” which is deterioration for any reason of the ability of the heart muscle to contract, usually leading to heart failure.
- Arthritis causing calcium pyrophosphate deposition in joints.
- Slate grey discoloration of the skin.
- Joint pain and bone pain.
The genetic test may show the mutation of specific genes but doctors do not test routinely for chemachromatosis unless they suspect one, so a patient is not aware of the risk of iron supplementation.
How unlucky one can get to have that gene? In my Clinic I have seen a case when a loving spouse insisted his tired wife to take a high doses of an iron supplement, even though it became apparent it wasn’t the cause of her fatigue. She was getting worse, and by doing a genetic test she found out that she had hemachromatosic genes which were switched on by iron supplementation. Now the patient is on medications and on chelation therapy, and a special diet to reduce accumulation of iron in her tissue.
If an individual will self administer iron supplements or by recommendation by an unaware practitioner, the patient may feel much worse. Viruses and bacteria thrive on iron and will multiply even faster to the point that some patients cannot get out of bed.
A lot of people have viral infections throughout the year, regardless of the season. People may have the flu virus, Epstein Barr virus and other viruses and bacteria all year around.
How can I find out why I am fatigued?
Nothing compares to the professional advice of a naturopath, who will take the time and investigate the causes of your fatigue. Fatigue could be due to a viral infection or bacterial infection, adrenal fatigue, underactive thyroids or Hashimotos disease, inflammation, chronic pain, gut/liver toxicity, emotional/mental stress, poor energy production, sleep apnoea, sleep deprivation, high fat/ carbohydrate diet , obesity and also perhaps due to an iron deficiency.
Our Health Analytical Tools will give you an answer to all those scenarios as to why you are fatigued. Only then our practitioner will advise you an appropriate treatment.
by Danuta Hulajko, Holistic practitioner, DH Natural Medicine Clinic
About the Author
Danuta Hulajko is a holistic practitioner, international speaker, and founder of the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au , Southern Highlands, NSW. She specialises in anti-aging, autoimmunity, digestive disordesrs and heavy metals chelation. For more information please go to our website. You can follow Danuta Hulajko work, events, seminars, expos, latest health research, her health tips and advice on Facebook and LinkedIn