How to avoid iron overload: A number of... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome
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How to avoid iron overload


A number of us are taking iron therapy, involving either oral supplements or IV iron infusions (like me). You probably know that there is some danger of iron overload with iron therapy. You can minimize that danger by keeping your TSAT (transferrin saturation) level below 45%. You'll need to calculate that: TSAT is serum iron divided by total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), which corresponds to circulating iron. (Both of those numbers should appear in your blood test results. If not, ask for them.)

The IRLSSG paper on clinical guidelines for iron therapy, written by many of the RLS experts and cited often here, states that iron therapy should not be considered unless TSAT is below 45%, to minimize the possibility of iron overload. So keep an eye on both your TSAT and ferritin.

6 Replies

Thank you for that.

Thanks for an clear explanation I have read a bit about that and planned to go back and try to understand it. You have explained it simply. I guess the moral is to get expert help before mucking about with iron.

Gosh, Graham, by "expert" I hope you don't mean me! I will say only that, as a scientist, I know what I don't know (which is unmeasurable), and try to go looking for it.

Excellent information - thanks!

I'm certainly allowed to say comparative expert! Thanks

Thanks so much for this information. I've been on oral iron for a couple of months and very happy to have fewer RLS symptoms, but have been wondering when to back off on the iron. Now I know what numbers to ask about when my iron levels are checked in 3 months.

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