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Blood

Why would you have too much iron in your blood stream?

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August 07, 2008 3:00PM

Iron plays an important role in our bodies. It is a key component in hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells which makes it possible for us to carry such high amounts of oxygen to our tissues. Without it, we would never have been able to evolve past multi-cellular organisms into the complex beings we are today. That said, there are not too many causes of too much iron (by which I am assuming you mean a high concentration of hemoglobin, but I will answer both questions).

Too much iron: iron supplements, hemochromatosis, repeated blood transfusions, overdose on iron supplements.

Too much hemoglobin: overzealous blood transfusion, severe dehydration, hypoalbuminemia, certain bone marrow diseases which cause overproduction of red blood cells such as polycythemia vera, living at high altitudes, smoking.

There are other causes, but these are probably the most common of them.