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Pam, Health Care Professional
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I need to lower the amount of iron in my blood due to

Resolved Question:

I need to lower the amount of iron in my blood due to polythycemia which I have as a result of testosterone injections from my doctor. I have read that caffeine inhibits the bodies ability to absorb iron. If I combine caffeine with meals high in iron, does this mean that I will have less iron in my blood or more? My ultimate goal is to lower my red blood cell count which will lower my blood pressure.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pam replied 9 years ago.
Caffeine and Calcium do inhibit the absorption of iron. The word "inhibit" does not mean that it blocks the absorption all together... it just lessens it. So if you were to have a meal that is high in iron, you would still absorb some iron. I would recommend asking your doctor the maximum amount of iron you should ingest each day and try to keep it below that.

If you doctor is concerned about your iron level, there are other safe ways to decrease it temporarily. When you donate blood, you lose a pint of blood - hence you lose iron. Since you have polythycemia, you are not able to actually donate blood that can be used on other people... but, your doctor can order a therapeutic donation in order to lower your iron level.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance!
Pam and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I guess what I'm trying to clarify is that if caffeine lessons the amount of iron absorption, does that mean that I end up with more iron in my blood because it didn't absorb or does that mean my body disposses of it some other way. If I can lower the amount of iron, I can lower my red blood cell count and lower my blood pressure at the same time.
Expert:  Pam replied 9 years ago.
Caffeine would inhibit the absorption of iron so it would lessen the amount of iron your body absorbs... so you would have less in your blood. However, you stated that you have high blood pressure. Caffeine can affect blood pressure in many people. Ingesting more caffeine is probably not a safe solution for you.
Expert:  Pam replied 9 years ago.
If the only cause of your high blood pressure is due to your polythycemia, you might be able to therapeutically donate a pint of blood, lowering your blood pressure, and then drink caffeine with your meals to reduce the amount of iron in your system. However, your blood pressure would have to be carefully monitored and I doubt that your doctor would recommend it.

How is your calcium level in your body? If it is a little low, calcium supplements would also decrease iron absorption. Osteoporosis is a growing problem in our country. Maybe you could look into preventing future problems with osteoporosis while decreasing iron absorption. However, you would need to discuss it with your doctor.

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