Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Blood draw for iron overload prevention?
Old 06-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,621
Blood draw for iron overload prevention?

For those who were on the Motley Fool Retire Early forum, you may recall a frequent poster there (whose moniker I can't recall) -- he was Costa Rican and often worked doing temporary assignments as a medical doctor in the US.

I remember that this doctor wrote of having his blood drawn regularly (a pint each time, perhaps 4X/year) to reduce the build-up of iron in his body. In the ensuing discussion, he also advocated this practice for all men and post-menospausal women.

I just searched online and found this NIH page on hemochromatosis What Is Hemochromatosis? (Printer-Friendly)

"Hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States. However, not everyone who has hemochromatosis has signs or symptoms of the disease.
Estimates of how many people develop signs and symptoms vary greatly. Some estimates suggest that as many as half of all people who have the disease don't have signs or symptoms.
The severity of hemochromatosis also varies. Some people don't have complications, even with high levels of iron in their bodies. Others have severe complications or die from the disease."

I'm hoping that informed posters here will chime in on whether this practice of having one's blood drawn regularly as a preventive measure makes sense for the general population or only if one has been diagnosed as having this condition?

If one donates blood regularly, I'd assume that this would also serve as reducing the iron in one's system.


omni550 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-24-2014, 04:06 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 7,662
Just because it is a common genetic disorder, does not mean it is common among the general population. If it was really common, there would be an article every month in the mainstream media about getting your leech treatment and all the tanning salons, nail salons, and so on would be like oyster bars with different varieties of leeches from various locales for folks to impress their colleagues with.

LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2014, 04:09 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 39,198
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
For those who were on the Motley Fool Retire Early forum, you may recall a frequent poster there (whose moniker I can't recall) -- he was Costa Rican and often worked doing temporary assignments as a medical doctor in the US.
Galeno. He is a member here who posts occasionally.

More on the subject of "bloodletting":

The ancient practice of bloodletting might offer cardiovascular benefits to obese people with metabolic syndrome, a new study published today in the journal BMC Medicine suggests.
A Brief History of Bloodletting — History in the Headlines
Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2014, 08:50 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 6,627
My father told me a several years ago to check because his brother had it and told my dad to tell family members as it is hereditary. I can't remember if my dad had it or not too but he got some blood drawn out and it never came back. Anyways I got tested and my iron was too high also. I must have not been paying attention because I swear the doctor said I didn't have it, but then a few years later he said either I had it or was a carrier (that wasn't the term but something like that). I would have freaked out if I was paying attention so I guess it's better I didn't know. Anyhow, I give blood now a few times a year and my iron levels have been fine every since. I didn't realize iron could be such a nasty thing. No vitamins with iron, Geritol or liver for me!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2014, 08:51 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,805
It is the standard way of getting rid of excess iron. And as you get older it becomes easier to get too much iron. Senior multivitamins do not contain iron for that reason. Some foods have added iron, so you may need to be a little careful.

When I complained about the 12 vials of blood they took at my last lab draw, the doc said that's OK, it just helps get rid of that excess iron. Not much sympathy. On the other hand, I got a laugh at his expense when he described how upset he was that his doctor had gone concierge. He has been (a fairly inexpensive) concierge practice for a couple of years now.
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 06:37 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,887
I donate blood regularly (well, I'll start again as soon as my one-year deferral due to the bone grafts for my dental implants is up) so I guess I'm covered. I know that that's not an option for many here; the list of reasons they defer you (including an extensive list of prohibited meds) just keeps growing and growing. If you can donate, though, it's free and convenient, and you get cookies afterwards!

DH has polycythemia. His bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, so they monitor his red cell counts regularly. He's on medications but tomorrow he goes in for a phlebotomy, where they take out a pint of blood and replace it with saline solution. Unfortunately, all that lovely iron-rich blood has to be thrown away, since there's no way to prove that it would be harmless if donated.
athena53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2014, 07:04 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 897
Hemochromatosis is pretty rare. Probably less than 1% even in the population at high risk which are those from the the British Isles and northern Europe. Iron deficiency anemia, on the other hand, is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Unless, one has been diagnosed with the condition and your caregivers suggest that you are someone who would benefit, I would keep the leeches in the jar!

6miths is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pain during routine blood draw MichaelB Health and Early Retirement 8 06-05-2013 05:50 PM
Bare Cast Iron vs Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Trek Other topics 73 11-20-2009 07:55 PM
Prevention is prevention - not screening dlhanson Health and Early Retirement 2 10-22-2009 06:27 PM
"Buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own." dex FIRE and Money 14 09-30-2008 10:47 AM
Information Overload CuriousKate FIRE and Money 20 10-10-2003 11:37 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:34 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.