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Question:

Elevated iron and bilirubin levels

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Yes. i have had blood work done for a few years now well more than 3 but my iron usually is high and my bilirubin has been high to i was wondering if my iron being high is making my bilirubin high? and what can i do about both if not? to lower them. i heard the only way for iron is to give blood? i am a male age 27


Answer:

Too much iron in the blood is usually due to repeated blood transfusions, overdose of iron supplementation, and genetic disorders such as haemochromatosis. The excess iron is deposited in body organs such as pancreas, liver, skin, joints, and heart and may result in diabetes mellitus, liver cirrhosis, skin pigmentation, arthritis, heart enlargement or heart rhythm abnormalities respectively. If excess iron is deposited in the liver, the liver may not function normally and therefore bilirubin may be high. Further investigation is necessary regarding the bilirubin, to determine if it is conjugated or unconjugated, and why your iron levels are chronically high. The treatment depends on the individual cause, but mainly involves regular phlebotomy (removal of blood) to maintain iron levels within a normal range, thus preventing complications from iron overload..



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