Toxicity of Iron
Toxicity is a condition in which the iron level of a body crosses the safety limit. ALthough iron is a very vital and associated mineral in various functions of our body, more than necessary could cause reverse effects.
Iron toxicity is classified as cellular or corrosive. Excess consumption of iron could cause corrosive effects on gastrointestinal mucosa leading to certain side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, hematemesis, etc. Similarly, cellular toxicity can cause cellular changes such as cell membrane damage resulting in cell death.
It is recommended to avoid such toxicity by consuming safe amount of iron through diet or supplement and inform a health professional if you notice any iron toxicity symptoms such as:
- shortness of breath,
- fluid in the lungs,
- low blood pressure and a fast or weak pulse,
- grayish or bluish color in the skin,
- seizures, etc.
Stages of Iron toxicity.
The five phases of iron poisoning symptoms are as follows:
(0–6 hours)Stage 1 : Vomiting, vomiting blood, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, agitation, and tiredness are possible symptoms. Rapid breathing, a rapid heartbeat, a coma, unconsciousness, seizures, and low blood pressure are possible in severe cases.
Stage 2 (6 to 48 hours): The affected person’s symptoms and general health may start to get better.
Stage 3 (12 to 48 hours): Symptoms could include extremely low blood pressure (shock), fever, bleeding, jaundice, liver failure, an excessive amount of acid in the blood, and convulsions.
(2 to 5 days) Stage 4 : Symptoms may include breathing difficulties, liver failure, haemorrhage, irregular blood clotting, and even death. Along with confusion, sluggishness, or coma, low blood sugar is a possibility.
Stage 5 (2 to 5 weeks): Stomach or intestines may become scarred (2 to 5 weeks). Abdominal obstructions, cramps, discomfort, and vomiting can all be brought on by scarring. Later cirrhosis can appear.
In such cases where iron get to toxic level in your body, a solution is passed through your nose in the stomach which helps the body to get rif of excess iron present inside. However if the condition is serious, Chelation therapy is must be done in which special kind of drug is used to bind the excess irons in your blood.
This process is done either through Intravenous (IV) tube in your arm or by swallowing chelation medicine that is also available in pill form. Once the drug gets attached to the excess iron, your body get rid of both through urine. However, informing the healthcare or poison control must be the primary duty of every individual as soon as toxicity is identified.
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