Category Archives for International

Australia

australiaG’day Australia!

Welcome to my site about Hereditary Haemochromatosis.  I’m honored to hear from so many readers down under, and my hope is to be able to educate and help as much as I can.

In fact, Australians are my second largest group of readers accounting for 25% of all visitors!

It has been my pleasure getting to know many of you and your stories and it is a joy to think my work has benefited individuals almost half way around the world.

** See below for how far apart we really are… it’s mind boggling! 🙂

My name is Eric Lewis, and I am a Naturopathic Doctor living in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina in the United States.  Asheville is a small city surrounded by the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains.  We are lucky to have a very fit and active population, with a strong emphasis on health and well being.

As a Naturopath, I bring a very holistic approach to health care.  As an individual with haemochromatosis, I bring a unique perspective on how to address our condition of iron overload.

Even though you and I are at quite a distance from one another, I think we can learn a lot from one another!

Here are some specific ways I can help you in your quest to improve your health with haemochromatosis:

Haemochromatosis Supplements

Nutritional supplementation may play a positive role in supporting your health.  Much of my time spent learning about haemochromatosis is to research safe and effective remedies that can complement your overall care plan.

Many sites emphasize the facts and figures of the science and genetics of iron overload.  This is great for our general understanding, however I would like to go a step beyond and seek out natural and holisitc ways we can restore our health.

Having received strong interest and requests for our unique turmeric cream I’ve worked to find a reliable and affordable way to ship supplements to Australia.

Fortunately, we are now able to ship items to you!  Bonza!

Our store shopping cart is now enabled with this functionality, so if you are interested in our supplements, please feel free to read more about Natural Remedies for Hemochromatosis.

Venesection Services and Lab Testing for Iron Overload

A great resource, as many of you likely know, is the advocacy group Haemochromatosis Australia.  Their recommendation for venesection (or phlebotomy) is for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Australian Red Cross Blood ServiceA great tool provided by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is their High Ferritin App, with description on their page regarding Therapeutic Venesection. This is a service for physicians to refer their patients for venesection, and takes the place of referral forms.

Here in the States, some communities have an excellent Red Cross chapter, and I’ve heard complaints about other chapters…  There seems to be some that are great, and some not so great (unfortunately).  We do have alternatives with some private organizations, depending upon location.

I would also love to recommend a reliable resource for lab testing services in Australia.  What are sources you have used that you would suggest?  Please Contact Me with your recommendations!  I would greatly appreciate it!

Distance Doesn’t Have to Stop Us!

To me, it is staggering how far apart we in Asheville, North Carolina are from Australia.  It is theorized that the furthest distance 2 humans can be apart from one another on Earth is roughly 20,117 kilometers (or 12, 500 miles).  Asheville to Australia gets close to that!  From here in North Carolina, it is:

  • 14,820 km to Queensland
  • 15,152 km to Sydney
  • 15,809 km to Melbourne
  • 18,258 km to Perth (Wow- that’s almost completely on the other side of the world from me!!)

I think it’s fantastic that I am able to share information with you and to hear from so many of you all.  It puts a smile on my face, and makes me want to come visit Australia one day!  In the meantime, please feel free to Contact Me with your stories and photos as it helps me to get to know more about your approach in facing haemochromatosis.

Oceans of MountainsHere’s a photo I took of the Blue Ridge Mountains near my home of Asheville so I can show off how beautiful Western North Carolina’s mountains are.  I’m pretty lucky to call Asheville home! 🙂

 

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Canada

canadaOh Canada!

I’m honored to hear from so many readers up North, and my goal is to be able to educate and help you as much as I can here on my site dedicated to Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH).

About 100,000 Canadians are clinically affected with hemochromatosis by having two genetic mutations signalling for iron overload.  Many more carry a single gene mutation.

While only around 14% of individuals with a single gene mutation develop symptoms of this disorder, children born to parents who both are carriers are susceptible to develop the condition.

Fortunately, there are a number of helpful resources available in Canada which I will detail later on down in this page.  Additionally, I will do my best to provide you with guidance that you may not find on other sites.

As both a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and as an individual with hemochromatosis, I feel like I can uniquely help you find solutions for iron overload that are both holistic and practical.

Let’s get started with how I can help…

Hemochromatosis Supplements

For sure the key treatment for hemochromatosis is therapeutic phlebotomy.  Many individuals will be prescribed medications.  These therapies reduce symptoms and save lives, especially if started early.

Of course, I have talked with a number of people who cannot tolerate the frequency required with a number of phlebotomies (or at all in some cases!) and a number have told me about their problems with the medicines.

Whether you do well with the medical treatments or not, I feel an excellent way to boost your overall care is with a nutritional supplementation regimen well designed for hemochromatosis.

The following links will give you an excellent overview of supplements that may be of benefit in iron overload:

Fortunately, we are able to ship items to you in Canada, so if you are interested in our supplements, please feel free to read more about Natural Remedies for Hemochromatosis.

Educational and Phlebotomy Services for Hemochromatosis in Canada

The Canadian Hemochromatosis Society does excellent work at increasing awareness and education.  Their website has been upgraded recently and provides clear information on the science and genetics of iron overload.

Another cool resource I personally recommend is a free app developed in coordination with the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society is called Iron Tracker.

Iron Tracker is the only app, to my understanding, that can help us manage our health care with hemochromatosis.  Way to go! 🙂

Iron Tracker is developed by AJD App Development (Twitter: @AJDAppDev)

Perhaps you can utilize this app when next donating blood with the Canadian Blood Services?  This site just received a major upgrade, and it looks fantastic!

Additionally, I would also love to recommend a reliable resource for lab testing.  What are sources you have used that you would suggest?  Please Contact Me with your recommendations!  I would greatly appreciate it!

Hemochromatosis Community

One thing I love about today’s day and age is our ability to connect with people all over the world.  I don’t want to be stopped by hemochromatosis and I hope we can all help one another out.

Here’s how we can connect on Hemochromatosis Help’s Social Media Pages:

  • Our Facebook Page is great for learning and sharing our stories
  • Twitter is full of updates about people doing their best to tackle hemochromatosis

To my Canadian readers, I wish you all my very best.  Let me know how I can help!

Eric Lewis, ND

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Ireland

irelandLegend has it that “Celtic Curse” or the “Irish Illness” first came to be generations ago at a time when iron rich foods were scarce.

It is thought that a genetic mutation to absorb more iron from meals was of benefit to the people at the time.

Centuries later, with an abundance of food rich in iron available, these same genes can cause a state of iron overload known as Haemochromatosis.

Researchers have confirmed that Ireland is the likely “home” for hereditary haemochromatosis.  Estimates show that 1 in 5 Irish people are carriers of a single gene for iron overload, while an astounding 1 in 83 individuals carry two genes.

The Irish are, far and away, the most likely population to suffer from haemochromatosis.

The Irish Haemochromatosis Association is a great support group for haemochromatosis patients and their families.  The IHA’s primary goal is to educate both the general population and the medical profession about iron overload and promote awareness about this condition.

To help this group out, membership is available.

Help for Haemochromatosis from a Holistic Perspective

Hello, and thank you for visiting my site.  My name is Eric Lewis.  I am a Naturopathic Doctor residing in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina in the United States.  Asheville is a small city in the Western part of North Carolina, surrounded by the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains.  We are fortunate to have a very fit and active population, with a strong emphasis on health and well being.

As a Naturopath, I bring a holistic approach to health care.  And as a person with haemochromatosis, I have a unique perspective on how to address our condition of iron overload.

Fortunately, I have connected with many wonderful Irish people through this site as well as my social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s get started with how I can help…

Haemochromatosis Supplements

The primary treatment for haemochromatosis is venesection or therapeutic phlebotomy.  Other individuals will be prescribed medications.  These medical therapies reduce symptoms and save lives… especially if they are started early.

From a complementary and integrative perspective, I feel an excellent way to boost your overall health is with a regimen of nutritional supplementation designed for haemochromatosis.

A great deal of my time is spent researching natural remedies to complement your medical care.  In my research, I have come across a number of nutrients and herbal remedies that are regarded as safe and have clinical research to back up their ability to support your health.

Always follow your physician’s advice, and if in doubt, ask questions about any dietary or supplemental changes you would like to incorporate.

The following links will give you an excellent overview of supplements that may be of benefit in iron overload:

I am happy to say, we are able to ship items to you in Ireland, so if you are interested in our supplements, please feel free to read more about Natural Remedies for Hemochromatosis.

Note: I’ve started with Turmeric as our first supplement, but many more are on their way… stay tuned!

Share Your Story

Recently, I have begun a section on my site called “Your Story“.  My hope is to learn about the stories of real people and share their perspective on haemochromatosis.  It is truly a powerful message.

Please Contact Me with your stories and photos as it helps me to get to know you and how you handle haemochromatosis.  I would be very happy to hear from you!

Blue Ridge MountainsAs for a little about me, here’s a photograph I took of the Blue Ridge Mountains near my home of Asheville so I can show off the beauty of Western North Carolina.  I’m very lucky to call Asheville home! 🙂

 

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South Africa

south_africaHowzit!  Hereditary Haemochromatosis is very common in South Africa, with up to 1 in 6 people of the Caucasian population carrying a single gene for HH.

Furthermore, 1 out of 115 people carry two gene mutations of C282Y making haemochromatosis the most common inborn error of metabolism in South Africa.

While my primary focus of this website is upon haemochromatosis that is inherited, another common affliction in SA is Acquired Iron Overload.  This condition stems from eating foods cooked in, or beer brewed in, iron (“potjie”) pots.

IMG_8771Whether via hereditary or environmental causes, iron overload can have severe repercussions on your health.

Haemochromatosis Society of South Africa

The stated goals of the Haemochromatosis Society of South Africa (HSSA) include promoting awareness amongst the public and medical professionals, encouraging early screening and diagnosis, and supporting research for the condition.

Several support groups are active, and the HSSA hopes to stimulate interest in forming more of these groups to serve individuals with HH.

IMG_8767Another great resource is the South African National Blood Service, that features a very informative website.

Therapeutic Phlebotomy is the primary treatment for iron overload, and if initiated early enough after a diagnosis of haemochromatosis, may save your life.

Haemochromatosis Help from the Holistic Perspective

My name is Eric Lewis, and I am a Naturopathic Doctor from beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, USA.  Asheville may be a small city, but we value fitness, health, and well being.  We are in the Western North Carolina region, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As a Naturopath, I take a very holistic approach to health care.  And as an individual with haemochromatosis, I posses a unique viewpoint on how to address our condition of excess iron build up.

One such way to improve overall health is with Hemochromatosis Supplements –> now available for shipment to South Africa!

I count myself fortunate to have connected a number of South Africans.

I look forward to getting to know more of you, as I have corresponded with many people from all over the world.  Especially in today’s digital age, we really all can connect and support one another.

Lake Lure

A great way to do this is on my social media pages: be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Until then, I will leave you with a a photo I took of the Lake Lure near my home of Asheville so I can show off how beautiful Western North Carolina’s mountains and lakes are.

I’m pretty lucky to call Asheville home! 🙂

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United Kingdom

united_kingdomCheers!

Genetic Haemochromatosis (GH) is thought to be the most common genetic disorder in the United Kingdom.

In fact, 1 in 8 people in the UK are carriers of the gene for haemochromatosis, making it more likely than most other populations to be at risk for GH.

All told, estimates suggest 250,000 people have the genetic predisposition… yet roughly only 5,000 individuals have been clinically diagnosed with haemochromatosis.  Many people are affected with this condition of iron overload yet have no idea.

Holistic Help for Genetic Haemochromatosis

Hello, my name is Eric Lewis.  I am a Naturopathic Doctor residing in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina in the United States.  Asheville is a small city in the Western part of North Carolina, surrounded by the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains.  We are fortunate to have a very fit and active population, with a strong emphasis on health and well being.

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I have a very holistic approach to health care.  And as an individual with haemochromatosis, I bring a unique perspective on how to address our condition of iron overload.

I count myself fortunate to have connected with many fine people from the UK.

Nearly 10% of my readers are from the United Kingdom as well as a significant amount of followers of my social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.

IMG_8547I have also been proud to be apart of a haemochromatosis awareness campaign sponsored by the Leeds Ladies Football Club.

Awareness is essential, and I’m glad to help out… even from all the way across the pond! 🙂

Let’s cover some of the basics of iron overload, and later on in this article I will detail how I can best be of service to you.

Haemochromatosis Diagnosis and Treatment

Getting tested for haemochromatosis is less commonplace than it should be, in my opinion.  Like here in the States, UK physicians do not always routinely run an iron panel on patients.  Especially if you have a family member with high iron, be sure to inquire about testing.

An iron panel will evaluate your serum iron and your TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity), as well as the two tests I find most useful: Ferritin and Transferrin Saturation %.

Ferritin is a measurement of stored iron within the cells.  Iron within our cells is the most damaging to our long term health, thus ferritin is of extreme importance to understand.  Suspicion rises with a ferritin over 300 in men and over 200 in women.

When ferritin levels rise above 1,000 a consideration for liver biopsy is made since the liver is the most vulnerable organ to the affects of GH.

Transferrin Saturation (TS%) is a ratio of serum iron to total iron binding capacity (multiplied by 100), and this value represents how much iron is in a bound form.  When the percentage of bound iron increases dramatically, it represents a system overloaded with iron.

Once a TS% is greater than 50% in men and greater than 45% in women (on 2 occasions), this finding is suggestive of GH.

First and foremost, the key treatment for haemochromatosis is venesection, or the therapeutic removal of blood.  Many people are prescribed iron chelating medications.  Especially if started early, these therapies help to reduce symptoms and save lives.

Therapeutic venesection will be carried out upon your physician’s directions, which may be weekly at first if the iron levels are high enough.  This can be an exhausting process, but it is important.  Getting the ferritin level down (goal is to get under 20, then to maintain around 50) is the goal.  TS% hopefully will be under 50%.

A wonderful organisation is the Haemochromatosis Society of the UK.  Rightfully so, they suggest iron removal by venesection even if the symptom picture is not clearly indicative of GH.  They state:

The need for treatment to remove excess iron does not depend upon the presence of clinical symptoms.  The risk of developing a serious complaint such as cirrhosis is much too great to be overlooked.

Well said!  I have communicated with numerous individuals with haemochromaosis, and I find it quite common for one person’s symptom picture to look entirely different than another’s.  Haemochromatosis Symptoms are often confusing and they can be attributed to other conditions.

The earlier an individual can receive the correct diagnosis and begin treatment, the greater chance for success they will have.

A few other UK laboratory resources for me to share with you include:

Holistic Help for Haemochromatosis

My area of expertise is to provide educational information regarding a complementary and integrative approach to haemochromatosis.  Diet and supplementation can play a very positive role in your overall health care plan.

I spend a great deal of time researching natural remedies that complement your medical care.  Fortunately, I have found a number of nutrients and herbal remedies that are generally regarded as safe, all while having clinical research to back up their effectiveness to support your health.

Follow your physician’s advice, and if ever in doubt, ask questions about any dietary or supplemental changes you would like to incorporate.

I have received great interest and requests for our unique turmeric cream and thus I’ve worked to find a reliable and affordable way to ship supplements to the UK.

Fortunately, we are now able to ship items to you!  Brilliant!

Our store shopping cart is now enabled with this functionality, so if you are interested in our supplements, please feel free to read more about Natural Remedies for Hemochromatosis.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share information with you and listen to so many stories from you all.  It gives me a smile, and inspires me to help you face haemochromatosis together.

I have recently begun a new section on my site entitled, “Your Story“.  My goal is to share the stories of real people and their perspective on haemochromatosis.  Truly powerful reading.

Morning MistIn the meantime, here’s a photo I took of the Blue Ridge Mountains near my home of Asheville so I can show off how beautiful Western North Carolina is.  I’m very fortunate to call Asheville home! 🙂

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