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A 54-year-old member asked:

do a lot of people get hemochromatosis?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Raemisch
Hand Surgery 24 years experience
It's relatively rare: Hemochromatosis is a disorder where a person has too much iron in the blood. This can cause significant problems as iron will deposit in areas like the hear and liver. While it is typically rare, it can be seen if someone takes too much iron supplement. Generally, men should not take iron if they are otherwise healthy. Women, on the other hand, are usually ok provided they are still mentruati.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 23 years experience
Not very rare: Hereditary hemochromatosis is a hereditary problem with mutations in the gene that regulates iron absorption (hfe gene) that causes increased intestinal iron absorption-which led to iron overload.. The frequency of heterozygotes is about 10 percent in caucasian populations in the United States and western europe with a frequency of about 5 per 1000 (0.5 percent) for the homozygous state.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
It's quite common: Hereditary hemochromatosis is very common, especially the type I variant at the HFE locus. Among people of northern European ancestry, about 1 person in 200 has two copies of the gene and can develop the disease easily if they get plenty of iron. If it's missed, it's lethal. It's very easy to manage and patients now have normal lives with phlebotomy as needed.

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Similar questions

A 21-year-old member asked:

Why doesn't anyone know anything about hereditary hemochromatosis (hh) if it is so common? I feel all alone.

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregg Albers
Addiction Medicine 41 years experience
Hemachromatosis: Quite a bit is known about the disease, but those who have it often do not find out about the disease or that they have the disease until they have some damage. It is also a disease that cannot be cured, but can be controlled for most people though monitoring with tests, and blood (iron) removal.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Is hemochromatosis considered dominant or considered recessive?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Hemming
Gastroenterology 17 years experience
Recessive (sort of): The common genetic defect in the hfe gene for phenotypic hemochromatosis is the c282y/c282y homozygous. However other defects other than c282y can lead to hemochromatosis. C282y heterozgyotes with hhc are though to posses another unclassified defect.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
Excellent answer. If you have a single dose and really overdo your iron intake, you can get sick.
Jul 13, 2013
A 32-year-old member asked:

Is it possible that hemochromatosis could kill patients?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Maritza Baez
Family Medicine 17 years experience
Yes: Over time, excesses of iron build up in major organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, joints and pituitary. If the extra iron is not removed, these organs can become diseased, causing conditions like diabetes mellitus, irregular heart beat or heart attack, arthritis, cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer, gall bladder disease, depression, impotence, infertility, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism.
CA
A 35-year-old member asked:

What are some of the symptoms of hemochromatosis?

7 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Maritza Baez
Family Medicine 17 years experience
A few: Lack of energy, abdominal pain, memory fog, loss of sex drive, heart flutters, irregular heart beat. When symptoms are associated with hemochromatosis, these usually begin in men in their late 20’s to early 30’s. In women, symptoms usually start about 10-15 years after they stop having a period due to menopause, birth control pills or hysterectomy.
A 22-year-old member asked:

Why do people develop hemochromatosis?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shaym Puppala
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
It's in the genes: In hereditary (= inherited from parents) hemochromatosis, too much iron is absorbed by the gut & deposits in tissues. Liver, heart, other damage can result. It is autosomal recessive: both parents must carry the gene & not all offspring will be affected. Secondary (= due to other causes) hemochromatosis can occur with certain types of hemolytic anemia (red blood cells bursting, releasing iron).

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Last updated Aug 9, 2014
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