What Is the Diet for Hemochromatosis?

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Q: What is the diet for hemochromatosis? A: Hemochromatosis is a genetic iron disorder in which the body simply loads too much iron. The excess iron, if left untreated, can damage organs such as the liver, heart, and pancreas; endocrine glands; and joints. The three types of hemochromatosis are:
  • primary hemochromatosis, also called hereditary hemochromatosis;
  • secondary hemochromatosis; and
  • neonatal hemochromatosis.
Humans consume two types of iron: heme and non-heme. People with hemochromatosis usually absorb much more iron from the food they eat compared with healthy people.  So, they can refer to the following diet to help balance the iron in their body:
  • Eating only moderate amounts of iron-rich food, such as red meat, organ meat, and blue fin tuna.
  • Avoiding supplements that contain iron or vitamin C that increases iron absorption
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables which provide natural hydration and a supply of antioxidants
  • Whole grains which provide fiber needed to keep the digestive tract clean
  • Adequate protein which builds muscle
  • Limited dairy which can cause mucous in the intestines
  • Limited animal fats which can trigger free radical damage. Eat healthy fats found in olive oil, cold water salmon, avocados and nuts
  • Limit processed sugars which contain empty calories and trigger free radical damage.
  • Get at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day; walk or take at least 10,000 steps if you can.
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Can lower extremity peripheral neuropathy  be seen as a  symptom in someone diagnosed  with hemochromatosis?
Technically no. I know what you mean, but it is not called a symptom. Hemochromatosis could cause a variety of symptoms and tissue/organ injuries. When it causes peripheral nerve problems, doctors call it peripheral neuropathy. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are lower extremity numbness, tingling, and pain. So in some way, peripheral neuropathy is the secondary diagnosis to hemochromatosis. The symptoms are leg numbness and tingling

Hi Layla

For hemochromatosis, iron supplement and foods rich in iron shall be avoided. 

Also, you shall limit your vitamin C intake for that it will increase your iron absorption.

Meanwhile raw and undercooked fish and shellfish shall be avoided to protect your blood stream from infection.

For more details about hemochromatosis diet, you can refer to the link below. It also offer you a sample meal plan for the diet. Check it out!