Dos & Don'ts
- Begin treatment as soon as possible; the earlier your treatment begins the better your chances of staying healthy.
- Follow your doctors treatment plan and make sure to get therapeutic phlebotomies when you need them.
- Ask your doctor about the best way for you to get your results, so that you may keep them for future reference.
- Consider getting a second medical opinion if you are not satisfied with the treatment you are receiving.
- Educate yourself about your condition and alert immediate blood relatives of their need to get tested.
- Venesections - Small veins can sometimes make venesection difficult to perform and also at times a painful experience. Read this guide - small veins and Fistula from Haemochromatosis Australia
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet. Download information sheet from Haemochromatosis Society UK
- Avoid foods fortified with iron, such as many breakfast cereals and some breads.
- Do not take supplements containing iron. If you take multi-vitamins, find a brand that does not contain iron.
- Avoid supplements that contain large amounts of vitamin C as it increases iron absorption. However, do not avoid consuming fresh fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C.
- Drink high-tannin tea with meals, as it inhibits iron absorption.
- Do not eat raw shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) as it may be contaminated with bacteria (vibrio vulnificus) that can be fatal to people with iron overload.
- Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating.
- Reduce intake of red meat and offal (liver, kidneys, pate, black pudding, etc.) as they are high in iron. However, do not feel that you must eliminate them from your diet unless advised to do so by your doctor.
- Avoid cooking with cast iron skillets or other iron vessels.
- Check the labels of processed foods for their iron content.
- Incorporate a routine exercise programme into your lifestyle.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption as alcohol increases iron absorption and can tax an already compromised liver.
- Don't smoke (or at least try to cut down); tobacco contains high amounts of iron that is directly absorbed upon inhalation.
People who suffer from iron overload should not take Multivitamins that are fortified with iron. The following products do not contain iron but do contain Vitamin C and therefore should not be taken with meals.
- Natures Aid Multivitamins and Minerals without iron available from McCabes €7.95 for 60
- SONA IRON FREE MULTIVITAMIN and MULTIMINERAL - AVAILABLE FROM McCABES PHARMACIES(€7.85) for 30) also available from Boots or from SONA NUTRITION Ltd Phone number 01 4515087 and www.sona.ie
- BOOTS MULTIVITAMINS without iron (€8.99 for 180)
Consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information .