Definition

What is Bantu siderosis?

Bantu siderosis is an iron overload disorder initially observed in South African people. It involves absorption of too much iron from the diet. The excess iron is stored in the body’s tissues and organs, particularly the liver, bone marrow, and spleen.

How common is Bantu siderosis?

Bantu siderosis is a rare disorder described in sub-Saharan African populations. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Bantu siderosis?

The common symptoms of Bantu siderosis are:

  • Iron deposits in liver
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Impaired liver function
  • Enlarged liver
  • Iron deposits in spleen
  • Iron deposits in bone marrow

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes Bantu siderosis?

The exact cause of Bantu siderosis overload is unknown.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for Bantu siderosis?

There are many risk factors for Bantu siderosis, such as:

  • Diet
  • Genetic factor.

Although there is no exact cause of Bantu siderosis, researchers believe that a combination of dietary and genetic factors result in the development of the disorder. High iron in the diet seems to be the major contributor to development of the condition. There also may be a genetic contribution, but the inheritance pattern is unknown. For African people, the culprit may be the consumption of a traditional African beer that contains dissolved iron from the metal drums in which it is brewed.

People with a specific variation in the SLC40A1 gene may inherit an increased risk of this condition, but not the condition itself. The SLC40A1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called ferroportin. This protein is involved in the process of iron absorption in the body.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is Bantu siderosis diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Bantu siderosis involves a variety of blood tests to assess the total body iron. A liver biopsy detects the iron concentration in the liver and MRIs can measure the amount of iron accumulation through magnetism in the liver, heart, and pituitary gland.

How is Bantu siderosis treated?

The amount of hemoglobin is important when considering treatment options. If the patient has an ample blood supply, a physician can perform a phlebotomy (drawing blood). When the hemoglobin levels are too low, iron removal drugs can be used (iron-chelation).

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Bantu siderosis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Bantu siderosis:

Since Bantu siderosis results from a diet high in iron, having a balanced eating plan may help lower one’s risk of developing the condition.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 25, 2018 | Last Modified: January 25, 2018

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