Monday, March 1, 2010
Relationship Among Listeriosis, Salmonella, E. Coli, and Iron
Sounding the alarm for a potentially lethal combination.
About Hemochromatosis (a.k.a, Iron Overload)
What you don't know about Hemochromatosis could kill someone you love-- perhaps even you.
HERE'S SOMETHING THAT DRIVES ME UP THE WALL!
Because protecting families with Hemochromatosis - not the ridiculous disease portrayed in HOUSE - has become my life's work, my motto, coined for the Canadian and South African Hemochromatosis Societies is: "Find us one person and we have hope of saving a family."
Now here we are in December of 2008, in Canada, where we're still weathering a Salmonella situation - at the tail-end of a Listeriosis outbreak - not too very long after an E-coli problem with drinking water in a place called Walkerton, caused the death of some of the town's citizens - and I do believe the omission of 'persons with iron overload' on 'official', published lists of 'those most at risk', to have been a gross oversight.
That being said, although I miss South Africa - the South Africa of my youth, where Jan Smuts Airport was still Jan Smuts, and no place was called Mapumulanga; the South Africa to which my ancestors fled from France on the BERG CHINA, via Rotterdam, on 20 March 1688, to arrive at Table Bay, on the 4th of August that year - I consider myself blesed to be living now, in what is surely the cleanest and best-governed country in the world. I am further blessed to reside in what I insist is the prettiest, safest and friendliest little town in all of Canada, with the ocean on three sides of me.
So, how can Hemochromatosis possibly enter into this picture?
A crippling condition which causes the body to store dangerous accumulations of iron, Hemochromatosis is now acknowledged to be the most common genetic or inherited disorder, and, in itself, can be fatal if left untreated, no matter where one lives..
If, as the experts tell us, iron is an essential growth factor for the multiplication of most bacteria, viruses, and even some cancers, it explains why the people I personally know of, who were afflicted with Listeriosis from eating unpasteurized soft cheeses like Camembert, were hemochromatotic; as was one who nearly lost his hand because of Pasteurella from a cat bite.
In a 1986 issue of “Among Ourselves”, as the newsletter of the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society was then known, we printed the following:
“Warnings have been issued in a number of medical journal articles, including one in the April 1985 FDA Drug Bulletin, to patients with chronic liver diseases (including hemochromatosis) not to eat raw clams or oysters, and undercooked seafood, and — in the event of open wounds — to avoid bathing in salt water because of the danger of a virulent Vibrio bacteria (Vibrio Vulnificus). Treatment with tetracycline is specific.
In a letter to the editor of JAMA, June 19, 1987-Vol 257, no 23, the writers, Claudio Chiesa MD, Lucia Pacifico MD, Francesco Renzulli MD, and Mario Midulla, MD, of La Sapienza University of Rome, and Laura Garlaschi MD, of the University of Milan, reported: "From 1978 to 1986, in Italy, almost all cases of severe clinical disease due to Yersinia enterocolitica septicemia, developed in subjects with iron overload." (To me that spells 'Hemochromatosis'!). Therefore, when confronted with this unusual problem, the diagnosis of hemochromatosis should be entertained."
It is my personal contention that, in situations like the Walkerton E-coli outbreak, and the developing Salmonella problem, Hemochromatotics should always be considered to be at great risk. In fact, iron stores - particularly the Transferrin Saturation Percentage - should be monitored in all afflicted individuals. Not only would this be good for the patient (as, for example, in the case of cancer or HepC patients, before treatment with Interferon), but it would provide researchers with an invaluable opportunity for research.
* * * * * * * *
MARIE WARDER - A NAME SYNONYMOUS WITH HEMOCHROMATOSIS
Contributed by Elaine Murray
Hemochromatosis. — There was a time when nine out of ten people had never heard of it and physicians considered it to be "too rare to be of concern”. It is now known to be the most common genetic disorder of all, and Marie Warder has played no small part in, as she puts it, 'bringing the research that was mouldering on the shelves or in the filing cabinets, into the light of day.' She found out first-hand what a devastating disease it could be when her husband became sick. For six years, she watched as his eyesight deteriorated, his personality changed and he grew sicker. Finally, a doctor diagnosed the problem: an overload of iron in his body. Luckily, it was caught in time and he was bled a gallon of blood per month to save his life. In The Bronze Killer, Warder provides much needed information about this common enemy, from recognizing its symptoms to stressing the importance of early detection and treatment. Recommended by physicians in many hospitals and clinics around the world, this book also includes a layman’s reference on the disease, Iron…The Other Side of the Story!
On the Internet I saw The Bronze Killer recently described as the 'definitive book about Haemochromatosis', and I agree. The reviewer was right—but, to me, it is more than a layman's reference to a genetic disorder. It is a consummate love story. Love at first sight...the enduring adoration of a teenager for a young man—adoration which would lead her, in time, along a thorny path and, against all odds, to a fight against ignorance of a disease. That fight has culminated in the saving of hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.
From the Back Cover
Ø WHO SHOULD BE TESTED? — Anyone who suffers from:
Ø DIABETES (sudden-, late-, maturity- onset)
Ø CHRONIC FATIGUE
Ø "BRONZING" OF THE SKIN
Ø ARTHRITIS (PARTICULARLY OF THE THUMB JOINT AND THE KNUCKLES OF THE FIRST TWO FINGERS)
Ø ARRHYTHMIA (IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT)
Ø CIRRHOSIS OR CANCER OF THE LIVER, ENLARGED LIVER AND OTHER LIVER DISEASES OF UNDETERMINED CAUSE
Ø CARDIOMYOPATHY (DISEASE OF THE HEART MUSCLE – FATIGUE AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH)
Ø IN MEN, TESTICULAR ATROPHY, LOSS OF BODY HAIR, IMPOTENCE OR DIMINISHED INTEREST IN SEX
Ø PREMATURE MENOPAUSE, AMENORRHEA (ABSENCE OF MENSTRUAL FLOW) OR OTHER MENSTRUAL IRREGULARITIES IN WOMEN
Ø Also frequently misdiagnosed as chronic hepatitis, gall bladder and thyroid problems, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, polycythemia and iron deficiency. As some sufferers exhibit pronounced mood swings and other personality changes such as severe depression, anger, confusion or diminished memory, they can be incorrectly treated for mental illness. In some cases Alzheimer’s has been suspected.
ONLY THE CORRECT TESTS WILL PROVIDE THE KEY!
Both The Bronze Killer and the recently released booklet of essays published in 2009, are now available as eBooks - as are all the novels in the "Stories from South Africa" series.)
Some of the reviews
Former Director-General of Genetic Services in South Africa
"We are highly impressed by the evidence you have collected and summarised..."
HH patient: Quoted in the Canadian Reader's Digest:"She deserves the Order of Canada"
A reader from Canada. "This book could save your life.
While visiting in Britain, I borrowed this book from a friend who had, in turn, borrowed it from the Haemochromatosis Society in Barnett, and as I read it, more and more symptoms described in it seemed terrifyingly close to what has been plaguing my brother for years. I persuaded him to take the information to his doctor, as a result of which he was diagnosed and now all our members of our family have been tested. We are so grateful! The book is well written and tremendously absorbing, but its main value lies in the fact that it saves lives. We are now reading the new edition and sincerely recommend it."
David of Harpenden,UK: The most compulsive read I have ever encountered. Could not put it down and read it from cover to cover!
Toronto Star: A valuable and highly recommended resource.
Nancy Steinbeck (widow of John Steinbeck, daughter-in law of the famous writer and author of "The other side of Eden/"
"Thanks to them, this disease will never mutely effect and confound patients and their families as it has in the past."
"If more people know about it, more people will live!" – Marie Warder in Maclean’s, October 6, 1986
Pat Ridgway of St. John, New Brunswick says, "I must say the book is so informative, it was like looking in the mirror. I am going to pass it on to others to read."
Glenn Paige, Tucson Arizona, Internet, March 1999. "Glad I read it!.…Not even in the best of medical journals, not even on the Internet have I found the answers to so many niggly little details…. to the small, intimate things I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor about…. She makes the difficult things easier to understand.".
Anonymous: - "Men – before you reach for the Viagra, please read this book. It could save your life! I had no idea that sexual dysfunction could be the result of iron overload or that it was such a common symptom of a potentially fatal and very common disease…..I know now why I have developed diabetes and have arthritis in my hands!"
THE BRONZE KILLER – THE BOOK THAT GAVE A DISEASE A NEW NAME.
Now with footnotes and editors'postcript.
A valuable resource still in demand after nearly 20 years.
Recommended by physicians and hospitals in Canada and elsewhere.
Earned high praise for its author in her 1992 citation for the prestigious Canada Volunteer Medal of Honour and Certificate of Honour.
About Hemochromatosis (a.k.a, Iron Overload) More about Hemochromatosis
About the Author
Marie Warder, who, before writing her books on hemochromatosis, was already the author of fourteen published novels, is the founder and President Emeritus of both the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society and the Hemochromatosis Society of South Africa. She is also the founder of the International Association of Hemochromatosis Society of which she was, for many years, the President. As such, she has assisted in the establishment of affiliated societies in several countries. Internet.
"Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever."
-- Ephesians: 3:20-21
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