Haemochromatosis is also referred to as GH (Genetic Haemochromatosis) or iron overload disorder. It is a genetic disorder causing the body to absorb an excessive amount of iron from the diet: the iron is then deposited in various organs, mainly the liver, but also the pancreas, heart, endocrine glands, and joints.
Normally the liver stores a small amount of iron for the essential purpose of providing new red blood cells with iron, vital for health. When excessive quantities of iron are stored in the liver it becomes enlarged and damaged. Deposits of iron may also occur in other organs and joints, causing serious tissue damage.
For a long time it was believed that the disorder was rare, so GH was seldom considered as a possible diagnosis. However, recent surveys of people of Northern European origin have shown a prevalence of 1 in 200 likely to be at risk of developing iron overload. GH is now recognised as being one of the most common genetic disorders.
The most common symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue, weakness, lethargy
- Abdominal pain; sometimes in the stomach region or the upper right hand side, sometimes diffuse
- Arthritis; may affect any joint but particularly common in the knuckle and first joint of the first two fingers (the bronze fist – illustrated on the right)
- Diabetes (late onset type)
- Liver disorders; abnormal liver function tests, enlarged liver, cirrhosis
- Sexual disorders; loss of sex drive, impotence in men, absent or scanty menstrual periods and early menopause in women, decrease in body hair
- Cardiomyopathy; disease of the heart muscle (not to be confused with disease of the arteries of the heart)
- Neurological/psychiatric disorders; impaired memory, mood swings, irritability, depression
- Bronzing of the skin, or a permanent tan
Sometimes haemochromatosis can be difficult to diagnose because these symptoms are found in other disorders. Chronic fatigue may be put down to the after-effects of a viral infection or to psychological causes, and abdominal pain to irritable bowel syndrome. Similarly liver disorders may be put down to excessive alcohol intake, even in someone who is only a moderate drinker. However, if the above symptoms are present, GH should also be considered as a diagnosis.
Most individuals who have GH will, in due course, develop at least one or two of the above symptoms, although possibly in a very mild form. There may be a long phase of the condition where there are no symptoms. However, if arthritis is found only in the first two finger joints this is highly suggestive of GH.
The risk of developing a serious complaint such as cirrhosis can be heightened because of mis-diagnosis.
It is an inherited disorder are caused by defective genes in the cells which make up the body. Genes, which are made of DNA, contain the information the body needs to develop from the egg and to maintain itself in good working order. There are about 30,000 genes and every cell in the body, except sperm and egg cells, contains two copies of each. One of these copies is inherited from the mother and one from the father.
In 1996 the HFE gene was identified as the major gene affected in Haemochromatosis. A small change (mutation) is present in both copies of the gene in over 90% of those diagnosed with GH. GH is a ‘recessive’ disorder. The risk of absorbing excess iron will only occur if both copies of the gene are abnormal. If only one copy is defective, an individual will be perfectly healthy but will be a ‘carrier’. This means he or she will be able to pass on the abnormal gene to a son or daughter.
Sperm and egg cells have only one copy of each gene, and on average half the eggs or half the sperm of a carrier will contain the defective version. By contrast, ALL the eggs or sperm of an individual in whom both gene copies are defective and who, as a result, suffers from GH, will carry the abnormal gene.
To develop GH you have to inherit a defective gene from both your parents. This can happen in three ways:
- If both parents are carriers (most common – about 12.5% of the population are carriers, so 1.6% of marriages will be between carriers). On average a quarter of the children will develop GH, half will be carriers, and a quarter will be normal.
- If one parent has GH and the other is a carrier (about 1 in 2000 marriages), on average half the children will develop GH, the other half will be carriers.
- If both parents suffer from GH, (a rare event, occurring in about 1 in 100,000 marriages) all the children will inherit two defective genes, and will have GH.
It should be emphasised that the proportions given in examples 1 and 2 are averages for the whole population: in any particular family where both parents are carriers (example 1) it would be possible for all children to be affected, all to be carriers, or for all to be normal.
Relatives who are at risk should be tested. This is absolutely essential in the case of brothers and sisters (siblings) as they stand at least a 1 in 4 chance of being affected. Parents, partners and children from the age of 18, should also be tested.
If you have symptoms suggestive of GH, you should raise the possibility with your licensed health practitioner.
A vegetarian raw food diet with the main emphasis on sprouted seeds, especially sprouted mung beans, self-made soy milk yoghurt using acidophilus and bifido cultures, as well as freshly pressed juices of vegetables, wheat-grass and rye-grass (a grass seed, not the cereal rye seed) is recommended. All the common food allergens, especially wheat, yeast and cows’ milk products, initially also eggs and the other gluten grains (barley, oats and rye) are to be avoided.
Drink plenty of filtered water.
It is important to avoid tobacco, alcohol, coffee, black tea and foods rich in iron (mostly meat).
Avoid shellfish and uncooked fish because as they may carry bacteria which can lead to an infection.
Avoid cooking in cast iron pans, because the food prepared in such a way may absorb the iron and cause further damage to your body.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Green Tea extract (standardized to 98% polyphenols): 725 – 1450 mg daily
- Curcumin (as highly absorbed BCM-95®): 400 – 800 mg daily
- Lactoferrin (apolactoferrin): 300 mg daily
- R-Lipoic Acid: 300 – 600 mg daily
- L-Carnitine (as Acetyl L- Carnitine and Propionyl L- Carnitine): 1400 mg daily
- Diosmin: 600 mg daily
- Quercetin (as quercetin glycoside derivatives and free quercetin): 250 – 500 mg daily
- Modified Citrus Pectin (with alginate complex): 1.5 – 3 grams daily
- Antioxidants are important to support cells, tissue, and organs and are cell protective; Alpha lipoic acid-300 mg a day, and Grape seed extract – 200 mg a day.
- Dr. Walch (doctor famous for his nutrition research) recommends copper to chelate (take out) excessive iron. Try 2 mg of Copper in divided doses during the day.
- Selenium-200 micrograms and Vitamin E up to 800 IU in a day help to manage iron stores in the body.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
People have found success taking Immunocal, it is an all-natural non-prescription health product made up of a very high quality protein that provides all the amino acids your body needs, whilst raising a substance in your body called “glutathione”.
AVOID TAKING MUTLIVITAMINS – they contain iron.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
How to diagnose iron overload articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/12/18/iron-diagnosis.aspx
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
Treating hemochromatosis naturally: www.health-science-spirit.com/haemo2.html
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/squeaky_clean.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Immunocal for hemochromatosis www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKlakXu6UI8
Too much iron accelerates aging www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy4n0fJarYE
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
A tincture of hepcidin cures all: the potential for hepcidin therapeutics www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2993603/
New evidence about excessive iron levels in the body: www.naturalnews.com/016462_iron_liver_research.html
The dangers of iron supplements: www.naturalnews.com/034021_iron_supplements_harmful.html
Cloves are the best anti-oxidant: www.naturalnews.com/028518_cloves_antioxidants.html
Further Information (links and books)
Free ebook – hemochromatosis and Chinese medicine ebookbrowse.com/hemochromatosis-and-chinese-medicine-pdf-d307485026
The Haemochromatosis Society UK: www.haemochromatosis.org.uk/
The Hemochromatosis Cookbook: Recipes and Meals for Reducing the Iron in Your Diet by Cheryl Garrison
A Return to Healing by Len Saputo, MD
Going Raw: Everything You Need to Start Your Own Raw Food Diet & Lifestyle Revolution at Home by Judita Wignall
The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss by Natalia Ross
Chelation Therapy (Woodland Health) by C. M. Hawken
by Bernie S Siegel
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.