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Tips for Healthy Living

Photo: An older woman on a bike

If you have hemochromatosis, there is much you can do to make sure your life is as normal and healthy as possible.

Check-Ups

Have the amount of iron in your blood checked regularly.

Phlebotomy

Make sure to get phlebotomies when you need them.

Iron pills

Don’t take iron pills, supplements, or multivitamin supplements that have iron in them. Eating foods that contain iron is fine.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C increases the amount of iron your body absorbs. Avoid taking pills with more than 500 mg of vitamin C per day. Eating foods with vitamin C (such as oranges) is fine.

Food

Don’t eat raw fish or raw shellfish. Cooking destroys germs harmful to people with hemochromatosis. People with hemochromatosis are at greater risk for bacteremia, a bacterial infection of the blood stream.

Alcohol

If you choose to drink alcohol, drink very little. Women should have no more than one drink a day. Men should have no more than two drinks a day. However, if you have liver damage, do not drink any alcohol.

Exercise

You can exercise as much as you want. The CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults engage in moderate-intensity physical activities (indicated by some increase in breathing or heart rate) for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.


Phlebotomy is a treatment that removes blood to lower the amount of iron in the body. It is similar to giving blood and is the best way to treat the disease.

 

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