FAQ - hemochromatosis
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I just found out that I have Hemochromatosis. I am 36 years old. I have a follow up appointment with my Dr. in 2 weeks. I was just wondering if anyone knows if this is life threatening? I mean can I be fine with a controlled diet?

That's because hereditary hemochromatosis causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. The excess is stored in your organs, especially your liver, heart and pancreas. Sometimes the stored iron damages these organs, leading to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, heart problems and liver disease.

Signs and symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis usually appear in midlife, although they may occur earlier. The most common complaint is joint pain, but hereditary hemochromatosis can also cause a number of other symptoms, including fatigue, abdominal pain and impotence. Though not always easy to diagnose, hereditary hemochromatosis can be effectively treated by removing blood from your body to lower the level of iron.

You can't prevent hemochromatosis, but if you have the disease, the following measures may help:

Avoid iron supplements and multivitamins containing iron. These can increase your iron levels even more. It's also best to avoid a diet high in iron-rich foods, such as red meat, dried peas and beans, and iron-enriched breads, cereals and pastas.
Avoid taking vitamin C supplements, especially with food. Vitamin C increases absorption of iron. Try to drink vitamin C-rich juices, such as orange juice, between meals. Whole fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C are fine.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol and iron combine to cause more liver damage.
Avoid eating raw shellfish. People with hemochromatosis are susceptible to infections, especially those caused by certain bacteria in raw shellfish.  (+ info)


Is it possible to have hemochromatosis when only one parent has the gene?

Yup a blood doctor can test you for the gene Hematologist
I was sicker than a dog but by accident a lab was taken to see my iron levels. After the Nurse practitioner chewed me out for supposedly taking iron supplements ( didn't and was a vegetarian) I demanded a referral .. she barked at me but did make the referral cause I looked up high iron on the web and insulted her lack of intelligence. the doc did a bunch of labs and I had the genes then got my son tested and he and I are fine today .. other than my MS that could have been caused by the iron over load who knows . Good luck  (+ info)

What is the pathological physiology of hemochromatosis?

how does the body change when you have hemochromatosis? and What are the symptoms of this disease? Is this disease related to diabetes?

I am the carrier of the gene but I am not sick from it (yet). I will need to get tested yearly. I did some research and here are my findings.

Hereditary Hemochromatosis is iron overload. The iron in your diet is absorbed too much and first goes into your liver, then your heart and other organs, even your fatty tissues. It is detected through DNA bloodwork only. Since that test is not part of the routine tests, it can go undetected.

The treatment is simply to give blood. If not, you might develop liver cirrhosis, even early heart condition.

If your doctor orders an Hepatic Panel (complete bloodwork for liver - complementary to the DNA test) he will find out about your ferritin levels (amount of iron in the blood). If it is elevated, he will want to do a liver biopsy (take tissue out of your liver) to measure the amount of iron and check if you have cirrhosis. DEMAND sedation (at least a little bit) before. Some doctors do it without.

There is a scan that can measure the iron in your liver, it is painless. www.ferriscan.com

I strongly recommend that you visit that Yahoo Group for Hereditary Hemochromatosis for more detailed information.


Also those web sites:





http://www.emedicine.com/RADIO/topic323.htm  (+ info)

How do you test for Hemochromatosis?

Is there a blood test you can take to test for hemochromatosis?

The above answer is partially correct. The iron studies help but the real answer is in the genetic testing. Insist that you get the genetic testing. It is the most confirmatory test there is. Hope this helped  (+ info)

Do you know anyone that died from un diagnosed hemochromatosis?

Do you know anyone that died from un diagnosed hemochromatosis?
For the nurse with the stupid answer, its called an autopsy; a post-morterm examination of the body to determine cause of death.

if it was undiagnosed, then no one would know what killed them, now would they.  (+ info)

Is phlebotomy a recommended or affective treatment for hemochromatosis after symptoms have been allayed ?

I was suffering goutlike symptoms and tested positive for hemochromatosis and phlebotomy was recommended .
After losing 85lbs my symptoms left but I'm wondering if the threat of organ deterioration is still a problem .

You will always need to be monitored by a Dr. If the iron levels go up again you can have organ damage.  (+ info)

Does anyone know what hemochromatosis is and what does it do to your body?

Hemochromatosis attacks some of the major organs of the body, if you do not keep it under control. Now what do you have to do to achieve that and what are the organs? And what is it?

Hemochromatosis is a genetic disease where you can't metabolize iorn properly. It is much more common in whites. Your body absorbs iorn even when you have enough, and you start to get overloaded in iorn. It can also be called "bronze diabetes" because the iorn can accumulate in your skin, causing a bronze appearance, and the iorn can accumulate in your pancreas, causing it to dysfunction, resulting in diabetes. It can also cause liver cirrhosis and heart failure.

If you have a relative that has been diagnosed with this disease, you should be screened. catching it early means that you just go donate blood every so often to deplete your iorn stores. (Yes, the medical profession still uses bloodletting in some cases!) You can prevent most of the problems this way. Also avoid taking a multivitamin with iorn in it.  (+ info)

My friend has Hemochromatosis. He has never had therapeutic phlebotomy which I understand to be the ?

treatment method for this problem. Are there certain types of hemochromatosis in which therapeutic phelbotomy would not be done? What reason would they not treat him with therapeutic Phelebotomy? He said the only thing he takes for this condition is Coumadin.

One can be a carrier of the gene and not have iron overload, in which case you don't require phlebotomy. Coumadin is not a treatment for this condition.  (+ info)

How are Hemochromatosis and walking on beaches connected?

Hemochromatosis is a disease of iron found in the blood and i read somewhere some reference to contracting higher levels of iron from merely walking on beaches.

I can't see how one can 'absorb' iron merely from walking on beaches, so "No", I can't see the connection here. The only vague connection is that people with hemochromatosis might appear tanned in appearance, similar to if that person has been exposed to the sun (walking on beaches!).  (+ info)

If you are diagnosed with hemochromatosis does your primary care physican refer you to a specialist?

Any additional details would be great if you have personal experience. I have read a lot on the web but am looking for people with actual experience with condition.

maybe. Isn't this just a abundance of iron? They may suggest a change in the diet depending.  (+ info)

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