Haemochromatosis - Living with 

Living with haemochromatosis 

If you have the haemochromatosis gene, there is little you can do to prevent iron build-up. However, there are steps you can take to minimise your intake of iron:

  • reduce your consumption of red meat (such as beef and lamb) and avoid organ meat (such as liver, kidney and heart) – iron is much more readily absorbed from meat than from vegetables, cereals and beans
  • avoid taking iron supplements and eating foods fortified with iron, such as breakfast cereals 
  • reduce the amount of vitamin C you consume, as this increases absorption of iron and helps it deposit in some organs
  • avoid drinking too much alcohol, especially with meals, as this can increase iron absorption and cause liver disease – if you do have some degree of liver disease you may be advised to avoid alcohol completely
  • consume tea and dairy products with a meal to reduce the amount of iron absorbed

Page last reviewed: 15/05/2012

Next review due: 15/05/2014

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