Understanding the Health Risks of High Iron Levels in Your Water

Iron, a naturally occurring mineral, is essential for the human body. However, excessive levels of iron in your water supply can lead to health concerns. In this article, we will delve deeper into how iron in water affects your health and well-being, and what you can do to mitigate these effects.

1. Gastrointestinal Issues

Excessive iron intake can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Consuming water with high levels of iron can cause issues such as:

  • Stomach pain: Iron overload can irritate your stomach lining, leading to pain or discomfort.
  • Nausea and vomiting: High levels of iron can make you feel nauseous, and in severe cases, lead to vomiting.
  • Constipation: Iron supplements are known to cause constipation, and high iron levels in your water can have a similar effect.

2. Increased Risk of Certain Conditions

Consistently consuming water high in iron may increase the risk of certain health conditions, especially if you're predisposed to iron accumulation. These include:

  • Hemochromatosis: A condition where your body absorbs too much iron from the food and drinks you consume, leading to iron buildup in your organs.
  • Heart Problems: Excess iron can cause oxidative stress, which is linked to heart disease.
  • Liver Disease: Iron buildup in the liver can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or other diseases.
  • Diabetes: Iron overload may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

3. Effects on Skin and Hair

High levels of iron in your water can also have external effects on your body. Using iron-rich water for bathing can lead to:

  • Dry Skin: Iron can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated.
  • Hair Loss: Excess iron can lead to hair loss, as it causes oxidative stress on the hair follicles.

4. Interference with Nutrient Absorption

Excessive iron levels can interfere with your body's ability to absorb other essential nutrients, such as:

  • Calcium: Iron can inhibit calcium absorption, leading to weaker bones.
  • Zinc: Iron and zinc compete for absorption in the body. High iron levels can lead to zinc deficiency, which is vital for immune function and wound healing.


In conclusion, while iron is an essential nutrient for human health, excessive levels in your water supply can lead to various health issues. If you suspect your water has high iron content, it's essential to get your water tested and take appropriate steps to reduce it. We previously discussed the broad impacts of iron in water on health and home, and this article further emphasizes the importance of managing iron levels in your water supply. If you'd like more insight on the problems iron can cause in your home, this article is perfect for you: The Effects of Iron in Residential Water: Impacts on Health and Home

We're Here To Help You

If you're not sure how to properly deal with the iron in your home then don't hesitate to look to us for professional assistance. Our experts at Mid Atlantic Water have been helping customers make the right choice for their home's water problems for nearly 30 years. Contact us however you'd like:

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