Elevated Iron & B-12 in Blood

Laboratory blood test
A blood test will determine whether you have elevated levels of nutrients in your bloodstream. (Image: maxuser/iStock/Getty Images)

Your body needs vitamins and minerals for optimal health, as these nutrients help carry out metabolic processes essential to life. However, your body functions within a precise equilibrium, so more isn't always better when it comes to concentrations of nutrients in your blood. Having elevated iron and vitamin B-12 levels in your blood can indicate serious physical problems. Consult a doctor before taking any measures to address such situations.

Importance of Iron

Although high levels of iron in your blood may not be optimal, the nutrient is an essential one. Iron helps make up the structure of proteins, such as hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen throughout your body. Iron also helps manage the growth and differentiation of cells. You can find iron in meat such as turkey, chicken and beef; seafood; navy, black and kidney beans; and grain products such as bread, oatmeal and rice.

Excess Iron Risks

Having elevated blood iron is known as hemochromatosis or iron storage disease. This condition can be harmful if left untreated, as the iron building up in your blood can eventually damage your organs. Different symptoms of elevated blood iron occur at different times; earlier symptoms include joint pain, weakness and abdominal pain, while later symptoms include arthritis, diabetes and heart problems.

Causes and Treatments of Elevated Blood Iron

Elevated blood iron levels are typically the result of heredity. While you can be born with this condition, the symptoms of elevated blood iron levels usually do not appear before you become an adult. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, the treatment of high blood iron is relatively simple -- taking a small blood sample.

Importance of Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is involved in a variety of functions, from nerve function to the production of DNA and formation of red blood cells. Depression, dementia and anemia may result from inadequate vitamin B-12 intake. You can find vitamin B-12 in fish, beef, dairy products and cereals.

Excess Vitamin B-12 Risks

Although elevated blood vitamin B-12 is rare, it can cause serious problems. MayoClinic.com explains that too much vitamin B-12 can promote increased blood pressure and blood vessel narrowing if you have existing cardiovascular conditions.

Causes and Treatments of Elevated Blood Vitamin B-12

Having elevated levels of vitamin B-12 in your blood can indicate serious health risks, including conditions that affect your liver, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, as well as diseases such as leukemia. Treatment for elevated blood levels of vitamin B-12 will target the underlying condition rather than the excess vitamin levels, so the method will depend on what is causing high vitamin B-12 levels.

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