A 24-year-old member asked:

If i have the single gene mutation (heterozygote) and am a "silent carrier" for hemochromatosis, will i become iron overloaded?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gregg Albers
Addiction Medicine 43 years experience
Hemachromatosis: The single gene carrier will likely not develop any symptoms or problems from increased iron absorption. You will still need to have regular blood work to check for increased iron, and not use any supplements with iron. If you have two genes, your chance is good that you will have high levels of iron, and possibly get damage from the extra iron. Timing is unknown, too many variables.
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Dr. Scott McLean
Clinical Genetics 37 years experience
No: Hereditary hemochromatosis develops when you inherit two mutations, one on each of your hfe genes. You have just one. About 1/10 folks with northern european ancestry is a carrier. Carriers don't get iron overload. In fact, most folks with two hfe mutations do not get sick at all, even though for many we can see that they are accumulating a lot of iron. A mystery? Rather. But we're working on it.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Jan 9, 2020


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