I've been lurking on this forum for several months, but this is the first time that I've posted anything. I'm hoping that some of the more biochemistry-literate PaleoHacks members can provide some help and advice regarding a somewhat unusual issue.
I have some form of hereditary hemochromatosis (for those of you who are not familiar with HH, it is a genetic mutation that causes excessive absorption of iron from the GI tract). In general, paleo-style eating greatly exacerbates this problem, both because of the emphasis on red meats and the notable lack of phytates in the diet (which seem to have kept my iron levels under control when I was eating a mostly-vegetarian, grain- and bean-based diet).
However, I've found that limiting my red meat consumption (in favor of poultry, mainly) has little to no effect on either my serum iron levels or the rate of iron deposition in ferritin stores. Furthermore, I've recently had blood tests done that suggest at least a marginal zinc deficiency, which is consistent with several lingering symptoms that I've had. According to nutritiondata.com, poultry has a much lower zinc-to-iron ratio than beef, and is not actually that much lower in iron than red meat.
Donating blood is the only way I've found to consistently lower my iron levels, but (a) the effect is temporary and (b) even when ferritin is very low, serum levels remain high, sometimes very high, which I'm concerned may wreak havoc with the delicate balance of iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
So my plea to the PaleoHacks community is this: can anyone help me figure out how the hell to achieve optimal mineral balance with this disorder? Is this even possible? What else would you eat and/or supplement to mitigate the negative effects of HH? Any other relevant thoughts?
I'm concerned that avoiding red meat is both ineffective and potentially harmful, as it deprives me of optimal quantities of other important nutrients.
Thanks so much in advance.
Edit: I took 1500 mg of IP-6 and 300 mg of apolactoferrin daily for a month, which had no effect whatsoever on my iron levels.