Overload

Iron imbalance

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

 

Iron is present in all cells in the human body, and has several vital functions. Examples include:

  • as a carrier of oxygen to the tissues from the lungs in the form of haemoglobin
  • as a transport medium for electrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes, and
  • as an integral part of enzyme reactions in various tissues.

Too little iron can interfere with these vital functions and lead to morbidity and death, but too much iron can cause similar problems, so the real problem is imbalance in iron, not just deficiency.

Iron deficiency is called hypoferremia and overdose hyperferremia.  Both can cause hallucinations, near death experiences and out of body experiences.

Symptoms

Deficiency

There is a commonly held view that somehow or other we suffer from a lack of iron. If we are tired or weak or weary, the assumption is that it is iron that is the problem, but it rarely is.

Iron uptake is tightly regulated by the human body, which has no regulated physiological means of excreting iron. Only small amounts of iron are lost daily due to mucosal and skin epithelial cell sloughing, so control of iron levels is mostly by regulating uptake. It is thus very difficult to suffer from iron deficiency.

From the evidence I have gathered anaemia is not caused by iron deficiency either - see anaemia.  The biggest problems in the western world appears to be iron overload.

Overdose

Overdosing on iron is effectively heavy metal poisoning.  If we take iron tablets or dose up on iron thinking we are tired because we have low iron levels we are poisoning ourselves. 

Iron typically damages cells in the heart, liver and elsewhere, which can cause significant adverse effects, including coma, metabolic acidosis, shock, liver failure, coagulopathy, 'adult respiratory distress syndrome', long-term organ damage, and even death. Humans experience iron toxicity above 20 milligrams of iron for every kilogram of mass, and 60 milligrams per kilogram is considered a lethal dose.

There are thus numerous repercussions of overdosing but the three effects most often cited are:

  • Brain damage - in all its various forms.  In effect iron overload is a contributor to SchizophreniaAlzheimer’s and dementiaMigraine and Bipolar disorder, Mastoiditis and Autism, Blindness and Deafness, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and so on and so on.  Give an elderly person iron tablets in the mistaken belief they are iron deficient and you could give them dementia.
     “The redox nature of iron renders the metal toxic in excess and consequently all biological organisms carefully control iron levels. …... Elevated iron levels can occur systemically or locally, each giving rise to specific symptoms. Systemic iron overload can result from hyperabsorption of iron or regular blood transfusion. The symptoms of many forms of neurodegeneration are associated with elevated levels of iron in certain regions of the brain PMID: 24470094
    MRI scans have shown accumulated iron in the hippocampus of the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease and in the substantia nigra of those with Parkinson disease
      
  • Cancer - there are studies which imply that overdosing on iron can result in cancer:
    "Many studies indicate that animals and humans burdened with excess iron are at increased risk of neoplasia at various sites. This review focuses on inquiries that involve iron and colorectal cancer. Relevant studies reported in the past decade are briefly described and evaluated. The studies in animal models and in relatively large groups of humans point to a positive association of excessive iron with colorectal oncogenesis. PMID: 8043985"
    Large amounts of ingested iron can cause excessive levels of iron in the blood. High blood levels of free ferrous iron “react with peroxides to produce free radicals, which are highly reactive and can damage DNA, proteins, lipids, and other cellular components. Thus, iron toxicity occurs when there is free iron in the cell, which generally occurs when iron levels exceed the capacity of transferrin to bind the iron”.

  • Bacterial infection –  excessive iron can exacerbate certain kinds of bacterial infection
    Reflecting this link between iron bioavailability and bacterial growth, the taking of oral iron supplements causes a relative over abundance of iron that can alter the types of bacteria that are present within the gut. There have been concerns regarding parenteral iron being administered whilst infection is present, ...Moderate iron deficiency, in contrast, can provide protection against acute infection, especially against organisms that reside within hepatocytes and macrophages such as Malaria and TB."  

Causes

How is it possible to become imbalanced in iron when the body regulates iron supply so carefully?

  • Nutritional deprivation - imbalances in diet can result in both overloads and deficiencies of iron, for example, starvation, bulliia and anorexia can result in iron deficiencies, however, other causes can exist:
    • Bran - Phytic acid is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, phytic acid chelates and thus makes unabsorbable certain important minerals such as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, also macro minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
      • Overdoseif you eat excessive quantities of bran, you may be short of these minerals. In quantity, it also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, the deficiency of which is known as pellagra
      • Deficiency - the removal of bran from many of our food stuffs has removed the natural chelating agent in our food. Bran in its natural form, served to remove excess iron and zinc, now anyone who eats only 'refined' foodstuffs is at risk from overdosing on iron [and zinc] 
    • Mineral supplements - Iron(II) sulfate is used in mineral supplements to treat iron deficency. It is also used to reduce chromate in cement and to fortify foods. Iron(III) sulfate is used in settling minute sewage particles in tank water. Iron provided by dietary supplements is also found as iron(II) fumarate, although iron sulfate is cheaper. Elemental iron, or reduced iron, despite being absorbed at only one third to two thirds the efficiency (relative to iron sulfate), is often added to foods such as breakfast cereals or enriched wheat flour.
      • Deficiency - Iron is most available to the body when chelated to amino acids, as people may think they have enough iron by taking supplements when they do not. 
      • Overdose - it is very easy to overdose on iron supplements.  Both adults and children can be poisoned by 'over consuming' ferrous sulfate tablets. This is one of the most common toxicological causes of death in children under six

         
  • Fungal infections – or fungus on food which we then ingest. A sample of the fungus Aspergillus niger has been found to contain cyano metal complexes; such as gold, silver, copper iron and zinc, in effect it eats the metals and thus makes them inaccessible to us. If we overdose, we may find fungi like these to be helpful, but under normal circumstances, they take minerals from us

  • Bacteria – in the same way that some fungi eat metals, so do some bacteria and again take minerals from us and compete for minerals. For example, the acidophile bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Leptospirillum ferrooxidans, Sulfolobus spp., Acidianus brierleyi and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans can oxidize ferrous iron enzymically. Given the enthusiasm with which the food industry are adding bacteria to food like yoghurts and so called health drinks, we may well find that some of the ones that we ingest may not be so friendly after all and cause deficiency.  On the other hand if you have overdosed they may behelpful

  • Physical trauma or disease - including surgery, that in some way compromises the efficiency of the organs that manage and control iron supplies, for example
    • Kidney disease or damage
    • Intestinal disease - Damage to the cells of the gastrointestinal tract can prevent them from regulating iron absorption leading to increases in blood levels.

  • Inherited genes - Regulation of iron uptake is impaired in some people [according to Wikipedai] as a result of 'a genetic defect that maps to the HLA-H gene region on chromosome 6'. In these people, 'excessive iron intake can result in iron overload disorders, such as hemochromatosis. Many people have a genetic susceptibility to iron overload without realizing it or being aware of a family history of the problem'.

  • Heavy metal poisoning - by definition, iron in overload proportions is classified as a toxin and heavy metal 
    "Heavy metals become toxic when they are not metabolized by the body and accumulate in the soft tissue. Chelation therapy is mainly for the management of heavy metal-induced toxicity; however, it usually causes adverse effects or completely blocks the vital function of the particular metal chelated. Much attention has been paid to the development of chelating agents from natural sources to counteract lead- and iron-induced hepatic and renal damage. PMID: 23744838"
  • Parasites - for example "Ancylostomiasis is caused when hookworms, present in large numbers, produce an iron deficiency anemia by sucking blood from the host's intestinal walls"
  • Loss of blood -  chronic bleeding (haemoglobin contains iron) both excessive menstrual bleeding and non-menstrual bleeding. The menopause can often result in a great deal of mentrual bleeding. 

Treatments

The most obvious treatment is to address the cause.  The approach suggested is described in the activity Healing yourself as well as the activity Eating for health

The iron entry contains a list of foodstuffs that can be eaten to ensure you get an adequate supply of iron. 

How it works

Physically  - this activity works via the diseases it results in.

Logically - this activity works because mineral deprivation or overload is a threat.  You need to have the Model of the Mind open and have read How spiritual experence works.

If we look at this from a logical point of view, what we see is that the Will is being assaulted by a Threat

The 5 senses along possibly with the nervous system are telling it that it is in danger, that the threat is both real and serious.  Thus the Will is being told DO SOMETHING. 

But what if it can do nothing?  It has searched the Memory for a learnt function to deal with it and finds nothing and the Threat is there now, it has no time to learn.  If you do nothing about the imbalance and it gets worse, the messages get louder and louder – THREAT ,THREAT ,THREAT – we are sick captain we don’t want to die, your little cells and organs want to live.

There is little input from the Reasoning function – after all what can it do?  And the intensity of the messages being sent it from Perceptions tends to overwhelm the reasoning function anyway – DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING!!!  The Will may first tell the Autonomic system [via Endorphins] that it can do nothing and to cease complaining, but there comes a point where the Will gives up, exhausted, and lets the Composer take over.  The ego has been squashed.

And we get our spiritual experience.

It is unlikely to be a pleasant one, the composer is most likely to try to send us a message that we should act to do something. 

References and further reading

  • Biometals. 1994 Jul;7(3):211-6. Association of iron with colorectal cancer. Weinberg ED. Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405.
  • Met Ions Life Sci. 2013;13:229-94. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-7500-8_8. Iron: effect of overload and deficiency. Hider RC, Kong X. Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NH, UK, robert.hider@kcl.ac.uk.
  • Beneficial Effect of Sesame Oil on Heavy Metal Toxicity. Chandrasekaran VR, Hsu DZ, Liu MY. Department of Toxicology, College of Graduate Studies, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates.

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