Note that the person below is doing the whole Nutritional Restoration program (hair mineral analysis and blood tests) with me. Let me add that the first symptoms of iron overload that often drive people to seek medical help are 1) fatigue, 2) insomnia, and 3) joint pain. Client’s comments in italics with bold, my original responses in normal text.
“Dr. Smith, I sent in my second hair test this morning. I know that it will take about 2 weeks before you see the results, but I wanted to update you on symptoms and supplements to better assist you with creating an updated treatment plan. If you need me to clarify or elaborate on anything, please let me know.
Symptom updates since beginning treatment plan:
- improved sleep quality; I rarely wake during the night anymore. I used to wake up with a need to pee on most nights of the week. Even if I do wake up now, I do not get out of bed.
- reduced joint cracking; I can still crack my back and fingers, but a lot of the tightness and cracking in my neck and rhomboids is gone...I can sleep on my stomach for a few hours during the night and not wake up with a stiff neck and shoulders.
- able to donate blood in early March for the first time in about 2-3 years. My hemoglobin was 13.2, which is the highest I have ever seen it.
- reduced frequency of peeing; went from peeing roughly every 2.5 hours to 3.5-4 hours. - waking temperature (oral) is above 98 degrees, all the way up to 99.0 degrees.
- no noticeable improvement on my exercise-related injuries (lower inner hamstring/upper inner calf and left shoulder). I stopped all exercise out of fear of making things worse or getting new injuries. I even got an MRI of my knee in March, but the results were unremarkable; no meniscal, tendon, or muscle tears. Is this phantom pain related to high calcium and iron overload?”
The most common joints associated with iron overload are the wrists/hand and *knees*, so this is quite possible.
“ - noticed some retracing symptoms for old injuries (left wrist, left anterior knee, etc.). This month, seemingly random, shooting pain started to appear out of nowhere and then disappear within a day or two in areas I have previously pulled/strained muscles.”
"Wandering" joint pains are classic for iron overload detox symptoms.
“ - no noticeable weight gain despite that I am no longer exercising at all, but eating the same amount of calories as or more than I did when I was powerlifting 3-4 days a week. My appetite has increased and sometimes feels insatiable. - over the past month, I have been having random skin breakouts on my face every two weeks or so, which I expected, but about 1.5 weeks ago, I had what seemed like a skin breakout on my scalp? I had never had that happen before, so I thought I would mention it.”
This sounds like detox as well. This happens when the liver and kidneys cannot handle the amount of detox that is coming, so they push it out through the skin (and the toxins aggravate the skin as they sit there) [see my “Detoxification Myth Busting” video here]. Things you can do to help speed the detox: [redacted]
“ - my first two menstrual cycles after starting the treatment plan were brighter in color and heavier than usual with notable clotting. My last period (at the beginning of April) was different from the first two; it came a day or two later than usual and was short and light.”
These "pendulum swings" of menstrual cycles are quite normal as the body is moving back towards its balance point.
“ - overall energy has increased - this is not quantitative and may be biased, but I feel less aggressive and more calm and patient in general.”
The main organ that iron overload affects is the liver. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver is the seat of anger and frustration. As we get the excess iron out of the liver, it is common for a person to have less anger/frustration/irritability. This, along with your joint symptoms, is a very good sign that we properly diagnosed iron overload and that we are properly addressing it!