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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19453
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have bordaline personality disorder, eating disorder, and

Customer Question

I have bordaline personality disorder, eating disorder, and hypothyrodism. I recently had a iron blood test which showed I had elevated iron, normal ferritin and transferrin, but 53% saturation. I do drink a reasonable amount of alcohol on and off. I just wondered what the results really mean?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

The primary concern with an elevated iron saturation is whether there is iron overload, which is primarily due to a metabolic condition in which excessive amounts of iron are absorbed from the gut, called hemochromatosis.

We are primarily concerned when the iron saturation is higher, about 60-62%. but it is possible that a lesser elevation in iron saturation could be early in the disease process.

However, regular alcohol intake also can cause an elevation in iron saturation. Alcohol us also can elevate the ferritin level, although you note that your ferritin is normal. Even low levels of alcohol intake can be sufficient to elevate the iron saturation or ferritin, although the effect is greater with higher amounts of alcohol intake. So, in someone that is regularly drinking alcohol, it is not as easy to clarify whether the abnormal lab results are due to the alcohol or to a separate metabolic condition.

If it can be done, the usual next step would be to repeat the iron studies after a period of abstinence from alcohol.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if I can provide any further assistance.