What is Overdose of Iron, It’s Causes and Treatment?

Iron overdose is when someone consumes  more than the recommended dosage and the overdose of Iron can be fetal.

When overdose of Iron happens the patient should immediately go to the hospital.

If an overdose of Iron occurs It should be treated within the first 6 hours.

For the children under the age of 3 if not careful overdose of Iron is extremely fetal if the treatment doesn’t start right away.

Usually the symptoms starts about half an hour after the overdose.

However, if the symptoms doesn’t show within 6 hours, the damages might be less.

There was some death reports on some patients who were diagnosed with overdose of Iron and they died after one week because the symptoms were minimum and they didn’t go for the treatments.

Symptoms of Overdose of Iron

The symptoms of the Iron overdose are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stool and Vomiting in children
  • Stomach pain

The first effect of iron overdose is irritation and ulceration of the stomach lining.

Which in turn can results in nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting after around 20 minutes of ingestion.

When too much iron gets into the bloodstream, it goes to all the organs and can damage the…

  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Blood vessels
  • and the brain

The symptoms start to show in the form of fatigue, impotence, or diabetic symptoms like frequent feeling of thirst or frequent need to urinate etc.

The symptoms show on the body as a whole (fever, low blood sugar, dehydration).

On the skin (blousing tinge in fingernails and lips), on heart (flushing, low BP), nervous systems (dizziness, headache, chill, the feeling of no-enthusiasm for anything).

Moreover, the strange thing about the symptom is they go away within 24 hours and then recur.


Another thing worth keeping in mind while we are discussing anemia is that an individual may actually be iron-loaded and need iron removed despite the anemia.

The anemia should be treated with B vitamins, especially B12, B6 and folic acid.

Many patients with anemia are dying of iron overload, because their doctors prescribe more iron, which is actually works against them.

The body increases or decreases iron absorption according to its need.

Including vitamin C -ascorbic acid in one’s daily meal increases iron absorption.

The body absorbs iron better when iron stores are anyway low, or pregnancy.

At the same time one should also be aware of iron’s toxic ability to harm an individual.

Treatments of Overdose of Iron

The first thing as soon as overdose of Iron occurs you should take the patient to the local emergency.

If it’s within the first hour the doctor can wash the stomach to be able to take most of the pills before they start the affects.

In some cases they have to force the patient to take the activated charcoal in order to wash the stomach.

Iron overload, or hemochromatosis is detected by a simple blood test and the treatment consists of removing the extra iron from the body.

The Iron overdose is a symptom observed in adult males and postmenopausal women.

And it’s just the opposite in youngsters, toddlers, children, and adolescents, who are still growing.

They often need more iron than what they get.

Poisoning from Iron overdose does irreparable damages to the body.

Iron overdose is commonly referred to as iron overload, or hemochromatosis.

Researchers are trying to get an insight into the ill effects and side effects.

The researchers have observed that iron overload, or hemochromatosis may lead to cancer or heart diseases but no concrete evidence has been confirm so far.

Things are still at a stage where the scientists are discovering a new and contradictory, sometimes related facts everyday.

Elderly Patients and Iron Overdose

People, especially the older lot have been seen to overdose on iron.

It is important to keep in mind that excess iron is a greater risk than iron deficiency.

In a survey done in the US, it was found that more patients complaint of excessive intake of iron than its deficiency.

Iron overdose can damage heart and brain and other storage sites in the body and lead to heart attack or stroke.

People Suffering from Haemochromatosis also Face many such Problems

This situation is generally seen in men above 35 and postmenopausal women.

In this condition the body has no way to get rid of excess iron.

And this excess iron storage can lead to atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease.

Severe iron overload, which causes liver and heart damage, can occur in people suffering from haemochromatosis.

The symptoms includes:

  • Skin pigmentation
  • Diabetes
  • Enlargement of the spleen and liver
  • Heart failure
  • General weakness
  • Lassitude

General Information about Iron Overload

Generally you inherit iron overload, or hemochromatosis.

If you inherit two hemochromatosis genes, one from your mother and one from your father, you are bound to suffer from iron overload at some point in your life.

It’s a common form of genetic illness among whites.

Women show lower/less sign of iron overload because of menstrual cycle that they undergo for a approximately 30 long years in between.

Among men the symptom shows relatively early.

Iron overload, or hemochromatosis is a health situation where the body absorbs two times more iron than it normally should.

Daily dosage of Iron is about 3 to 6 mg/kg/day and over 10 mg is consider as Iron Overdose.

The extra iron gets store in heart, liver, intestines, pancreas etc which continues to damage body without our knowledge.

Some people die after one week of Iron overdose.

After we touch fifty and it gets beyond body’s physical capacity to hold it anymore it hits back.

If the overdose be notice and start the treatments right away the risks can be low.

This means regularly taking the blood out of the system. These patients cannot even donate blood.

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