How are your iron levels?

While many of us worry about being deficient in iron, we also don’t know much about the opposite condition of having too much iron in our system. Haemochromatosis is an iron overload that affects 1 in 200 Australians.

So, having an overload of iron will not make us feel like the formidable cartoon character Popeye. Instead, a person with haemochromatosis may feel fatigued, and could be experiencing joint pains and abdominal pain.

But wait, the treatment isn’t that daunting (unless you don’t like blood and needles). Donating blood helps treat haemochromatosis as it lowers iron levels.

Tim Brunero spoke to the President of Haemochromatosis Australia, Ben Marris about haemochromatosis and the upcoming Haemochromatosis Awareness Week (13 – 19 August 2012).


Download Interview

Producer: Jess Hand

3 responses to “How are your iron levels?

  1. Hi, I’ve just listened to the interview, I was diagnosed with Haemachromatosis 2 years ago, I also have arthritis, spine degeneration, diabetes and fibromyalgia. It would have been good to tell people who cant donate blood (such as myself – Mad Cow Disease) to see their doctors for venesection. I was a plasma donor in England for 10 years, have lived in Oz for 20+ years but cannot donate blood at all, so have to rely on venesection at my health centre instead

    • Hi Christine, Desma here from Haemochromatosis Australia, it is a shame you were not aware of our organisation, because we have a data base of places to obtain venesections. If you phone the 1300 019 028 number I can provide you with a private pathology group in Adelaide area who perform venesections for people like yourself, who do not meet Red Cross criteria. or send me an email at

      • Hi Desma, thank you for replying but you seem to have misunderstood my remarks. I meant that it would have been good to mention this in the original interview so that others would get the information, I already have a very good team at my medical centre who carry out my venesections when necessary (and I no longer live in Adelaide, I reside on the Gold Coast, Queensland, I listen to Radio Adelaide via the internet) Thank you Desma, and to everyone at your organisation for the brilliant work you do. Christine

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