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postheadericon Diatamaceous Earth and Hemochromatosis


For years I had tried to get my friend Karen to try diatomaceous earth.  She finally took that leap of faith and tried it….. she is very happy that she did. She posted about what happened when she did…. You can read the post below.

First things first – you need a working definition:


Is a genetic disorder wherein the body of the person affected holds onto iron consumed resulting in iron overload.  Iron accumulates in the joints and organs and will most certainly cause death if allowed to do so.  Treatment is frequent (usually weekly) therapeutic phlebotomy (blood draining) until iron levels (ferritin) are normal, and then an ongoing maintenance and monitoring schedule  for life.  In some ways it is a blessing in disguise because hemochromatosis patients in maintenance can become regular blood donors keeping themselves healthy while saving the lives of others.  A silverlining to be certain.

However, I can assure you from experience that the initial regime is NOT pleasant.  I have scar tissue on my arm from the frequent phlebotomies that makes me look like somewhat of a junkie.  Appearance aside, there are other unpleasant side effects to having such frequent blood drains, the least of which is the inconvenience.  Unless you enjoy needles in your arm – and this is a big needle (my sister calls it a pipe), you can agree that frequent phlebotomies are something to avoid if you can.

My doctor told me there was no other way.  The only way to lower the iron stores in your blood is to remove the blood.  It is truly not possible to eat a low iron diet although most of us do try to limit our intake of iron and we usually drink tea or coffee with our meals to interfere with iron absorption.

A Little Background Info

A dear friend of mine from a small town in Michigan sent me a sample of Diatamaceous Earth, known simply as DE, to treat a bug infestation of a houseplant.  When I failed to use it and the plant died, she encouraged me to eat it myself claiming it has numerous health benefits.  I was certainly skeptical of eating the product that was sent to me to kill bugs, but after I did some research on it, I decided to give it a try… it is worth noting that this stuff sat in my cupboard for 2 years before I finally took a spoonful!

During my trial period, I can’t say that I actually noticed any improvement in my overall health.  I’m not saying that I didn’t experience better health, just that I didn’t feel it.  My ferritin had been below 50, and I had become a regular blood donor.  Either just prior to just after donating blood I get a blood test to measure my level.

On February 14, before I started taking DE, and after a blood donation, my ferritin was 44.  Acceptable.  I was scheduled for another donation 56 days later on March 28, but I wasn’t able to make it to my appointment.  I was worried that my ferritin would be soaring and that I may require a therapeutic phlebotomy in addition to a blood donation.  I went for a blood test to measure my ferritin in mid April.  I had now been consuming DE daily for about 3 weeks.  This is where things got interesting…

3 Weeks on DE and No Blood Donation…

I was shocked (and a little frightened) when I learned that my ferritin had dropped 6 points to 38 – without having shed any blood!

Where Did The Iron in My Blood Go?

My doctor had no explanation.  An ultrasound and other tests did not reveal any internal bleeding – which was my (and my doctor’s) fear.  I went online and started searching for an explanation.  What I found was that some people are using DE for chelation purposes – to remove heavy metals, such as mercury, from the body.  If it can remove mercury why not iron?  DE was the only thing that I had added to my routine.  I decided to stay off the DE for a month and retest.  If my ferritin went up, that should be an indication that it was likely the DE that brought it down.

And the Result is in…

On May 23, I had my ferritin tested and it had gone back up to 48.  Once again, my body is holding onto iron.  Now, if I was bleeding internally, or otherwise, there is no way that my ferritin would go up by such a large amount in one month.

I am now back on DE – day 2.  In 3 weeks I will retest and see if my iron drops again and will report the results here.

If you or someone you know has hemochromatosis, try it or share this post with them!

Diatamaceous Earth has many other health benefits

It addresses issues by removing toxins from the body.  Here is a partial list of issues addressed by eating DE:

  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Fungi
  • Protozoa
  • Viruses (including poliovirus)
  • Endotoxins
  • Pesticide and drug residues
  • E-Coli
  • Heavy metals (including methyl mercury)
  • Proteinaceous toxins produced by some intestinal infections

While dealing with the above toxins, DE will NOT harm the beneficial bacteria (flora) in the gut.  I am no chemist, but the reason that it leaves the healthy stuff alone has to do with negative and positive charge.

It is also reported to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  My blood pressure was quite high.  It is now in the normal range, but I cannot say for 100% that it is due to taking DE.  I am also taking Ubiquinol – which I believe is having a positive impact on my BP… more on that in another post!

This is where my friend gets her DE:


Original post can be found here….

6 Responses to “Diatamaceous Earth and Hemochromatosis”

  • Sandra Brandley:

    Wow, one of my ex stepsons has hemochromatosis.
    I, however, suffer from anemia and have to take iron supplementation.
    Do you know whether DE will make my anemia worse?


    • Cindy:

      Hi Sandra… This is simply my opinion of course and I would certainly suggest you speak with your Dr… but I can not see any reason that it would make your anemia worse. Keep in mind that everyone is different. If you decide to start eating diatomaceous earth remember to start off slowly and drink plenty of EXTRA water…. Cindy

      • Loray:

        Are you still taking DE for Hemochromatosis? If so; is it working? My girlfriend’s granddaughter just found out she has high iron in her blood; and the doctor would recheck it in a month. She is 20 years old. I have been taking DE for over 7 months now; and overall I feel better. We’re not sure if we should give her the DE at her young age. What do you think?

        Thanks Loray

  • Hi Loray,

    I have stopped and started taking DE several times over the years since I wrote that post about how DE affected my hemochromatosis, and I also feed it to my teenage children (1 tbsp per day). I continue to believe that DE plays a part in keeping my iron under control. While unloading, it is my belief that DE helps to de-iron faster than without taking DE.

    I have had to unload twice, once upon diagnosis and another time recently when I was off DE and failed to donate regularly. Unloading requires weekly phlebotomies in a hospital setting. My second unloading (with DE) took a fraction of the time as the first (without DE). There is no excuse for going off DE – it is just a matter of forgetting and getting out of the routine – foolish really!

    I would have no problem giving DE to a 20 year old with high iron levels. I would also give it to anyone with anemia. My understanding of iron overload is that it takes time to accumulate, so typically people are diagnosed after the age of 40 or 50. It seems that 20 is quite young to be accumulating. If her test was a ferritin test, there are other reasons for high ferritin counts – inflammation being one. I would suggest that the parents of the girl be tested and perhaps that they request DNA testing.

    Best of luck!

  • Camille:

    Do you think that if you took the DE totally consistently (eg 2 Tablespoons every day without fail) that it could keep your iron level low enough that you would not need to do any blood donations at all? My doctor suspects I have hemochromotosis & I can’t give blood as I’m also anaemic / have low hemoglobin!

  • Hi Camille,

    I would insist on genetic testing for a proper diagnosis! I wish I could answer your question but I still haven’t been able to remain consistent beyond 3 or 4 months. Once you receive a proper diagnosis your dr would recommend a course of treatment, that would include therapeutic phlebotomy – I would highly recommend taking DE as well!

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