Does anybody else have hemochromatosis?

People who have hemochromatosis and lift: share your diet experiences and tips with me. I’m getting back into lifting after a few years off, and in the dead time I was diagnosed with hemochromatosis. My levels are fine now and I’m controlling them with blood donations. I’m not planning to start wolfing down steak, lentils, and spinach every day. But what else should I know?

And before anybody tells me to talk to my doctor, I’m seeing my hematologist later this month.

I’m not going to give any specific recs because I don’t know enough about you and your history but here’s a link to some solid information to provide you some direction.

Hemochromatosis surfaced in my mother at 60 and lasted 3 years until she gave a @#$%^ load of blood over that time period. It went into remission and she lived to 90. She didn’t seem to have the hollow look some people get and she walked every day. I was advised it’s primarily a northern European genetic thing where one’s body retains excessive iron. No pain. I understand that sufficient iron in the body will stop the heart, ergo give lots of blood to remove the excess iron. Mom stopped eating any food with iron in it and drank only distilled water as I remember, for the rest of her life. I don’t remember her taking medication, just the countless blood donations where the blood bank just disposed of it. That was about 30 years ago so there may be better treatments now.

Your offspring can/will have arthritic problems like myositis/polymyositis/lupis. Some sort of muscle/organ wasting disease. Need to tell them that when they’re young adults. I think a specific blood test will identify it. If I were you I’d ask for a second opinion from a rheumatologist. No pain just a deadly stroke or heart attack.

Any patient stories I could relate tend to scare the bejusus out of people who hear them. I was told to stop lifting until my myositis went into remission after 5 years (on some odd drugs). Too easy to tear muscle off a bone.

Good luck. Hope this helps.

Hemochromatosis runs in my family. I had the genetic testing done and I only have one mutated chomosone (and you need two mutations to have it, which I’m sure you are well aware of). It came from my grandmother. My dad had only one also, but my uncle has full blown hemochromatosis. The iron made the skin on his face (and elsewhere) have large black patches. That was 40 years worth of accumulation. Regular blood draws was the only solution. Giving blood regularly seems to be the solution. He had blood draws every two weeks until they got it under control. Now the regular 90 day red cross donations are sufficient. I do it now just to be on the safe side. Women do not suffer the effects because they bleed once a month. As for training effects, I can only recommend the usual precautions after anyone would give blood. Drink water. Take tomorrow off. My uncle is 95 years old now, and pretty active, so it is something you can live with.

Got anyone in your family with “exotic” forms of arthritis?