We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Hemosiderosis?

By D. Jeffress
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hemosiderosis is a rare condition in which too much iron is present in certain organs, most commonly in the lungs. A person with a mild form of the disorder may never experience symptoms, though significant iron overload can cause major damage to the lungs, kidneys, and other important organs. The biggest concern associated with hemosiderosis is the possibility of excessive hemorrhaging in the lungs, which can lead to anemia, breathing problems, and heart complications. Doctors treat acute problems with drugs and oxygen therapy, and attempt to control chronic conditions with immune system-suppressing steroids.

Hemosiderin is a blood protein that is formed when red blood cells break down. The protein stores a tiny amount of iron to supply body tissues and keep iron levels stable in the body. If excessive hemorrhaging occurs in a lung, the red blood cells that build up inside the organ can create huge quantities of hemosiderin proteins. Several different health problems can lead to pulmonary hemorrhage and hemosiderosis, most notably autoimmune inflammatory disorders, chronic bronchitis, and exposure to environmental toxins and molds. Many cases of childhood hemosiderosis are idiopathic, meaning that doctors are unable to identify a true underlying cause.

The most common symptoms of acute hemosiderosis include coughing up blood, breathing difficulties, chest tightness, and dizziness. A person who suffers a major hemorrhage may turn pale and possibly lose consciousness. The heartbeat may initially race but then slow to a dangerous level. If hemosiderosis becomes a frequent or chronic problem, a person can experience symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, such as extreme fatigue, severe headaches, and irritability.

A specialist can diagnose hemosiderosis by asking about symptoms and medical history and checking blood samples for signs of anemia. Chest x-rays and computerized tomography scans are taken to look for active pulmonary hemorrhages and sections of scar tissue where bleeding has occurred in the past. Depending on the severity of symptoms, a patient may be immediately hospitalized or scheduled for a follow-up visit after receiving a diagnosis.

Hemosiderosis that causes serious complications may require oxygen therapy and heart-stabilizing clinical procedures. A patient might need to take medications to stabilize blood pressure and chelating drugs that flush iron from the body. A blood transfusion may be necessary if a massive amount of blood has been lost. In order to reduce the chances of lung hemorrhages in the future, patients usually need to take immunosuppressant steroids such as prednisone for several months or years. When an underlying cause is found, it is treated accordingly.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By candyquilt — On Jul 23, 2013

@ddljohn-- You can get genetic testing for your children and yourself if you want. If they're getting regular check-ups, they should be fine. Iron levels in the blood are too high in people with hemosiderosis, so it will be noticed very easily. Just watch out for symptoms like weight loss and fatigue.

By fify — On Jul 23, 2013

@ddljohn-- Actually, hemosiderosis is the term used to talk about the affect of iron overload in the organs. So it can be due to a genetic disorder and also frequent blood transfusions.

Hemochromatosis is hereditary iron overload. It's caused by a genetic mutation. If your grandmother's hemosiderosis was caused by hemochromatosis, the condition can show up in your lineage.

By ddljohn — On Jul 22, 2013

Is hemosiderosis genetic? My grandmother died due to complications from hemosiderosis. What's the likelihood that one of my children will have this?

Also, what's the difference between hemochromatosis and hemosiderosis? When I looked up "too much iron in organs," both of these terms came up.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.