Doctor insights on:
Genetic Hemochromatosis And Statins
Partly true: The disorder is called hereditary hemochromatosis and it is an autosomal recessive disorder. Meaning it is passed from parent to offspring, people can be carriers of the gene, and you have to have 2 copies of the gene to have the disorder: one from the father and one from the mother. Hemochromatosis is an iron overload which can have other causes than hereditary hemochromatosis though. ...Read more
From a medical standpoint, "genetic" refers to the potential heritability of various medical conditions. While some conditions are inevitable (at some point in one's life) as a consequence of simple genetic heritability (eg huntington's disease), a large number of medical conditions (including all behaviorial health disorders) are the expressed final pathway of a ...Read more
If hemochromatosis is a genetic disease, should other family members be tested? Which ones and when?
Yes: Hemochromatosis is the most common of genetic diseases. It can have variable penitrance and manifest briskly or insiduoulsy. It is usually not manifest until the 4th or 5th decade of life and usually in males since women lose blood/iron with menses. A blood test can be done to diagnose and for genetics. Counsel with your pcp, hematologist or geneticist. Great sources on the web. I have it! ...Read more
Inherited: Most primary hemochromatosis is passed parent-to-child, especially if each parent supplies one defective gene, though people with a single dose may be affected. If you're not familiar with basic genetics, you need to become familiar with the terminology as it's basic to life and understanding health and disease in the 21st century. ...Read more
Iron studies panel was abnormal indicating Hemochromatosis. Doc sent me for genetic blood test to confirm. If this is positive, what is the treatment?
Blood letting: The treatment is relatively simple. Periodically, some of your blood is drained out to remove iron along with your red cells. Done regularly it would prevent excess iron accumulation and the usual damage excess iron causes. ...Read more
Is it normal for someone healthy with treated genetic hemochromatosis to have high bilirubin, ph 9, & 30mg protein in urinalysis? I'm breastfeeding.
High bilirubin worry: Worrisome. Not knowing your medical history, I suggest strongly that you see your physician to determine whether you in fact have progressive hepatic fibrosis and whether your hemochromatosis was in fact successfully treated, and/or to determine the cause of your hyperbilirubinemia. ...Read more
How can I know if I have iron overload/hemochromatosis? What tests should be performed? I hear that there is a DNA genetic test kit for hemochromatosis, is that true?
Blood tests: Iron and TIBC (total iron binding capacity) can be used to detect iron overload (iron/tibc >45 increases suspicion). Hemochromatosis, one cause for iron overload, can be detected by a gene study. As a general rule, patients with hemochromatosis are referred to gastroenterologist for a liver biopsy, as iron overload can do significant damage to the liver. ...Read more
I have genetic hemochromatosis my ferritin level before last phlebotomy was 318 hemoglobin 187 my wbc 11 and my platelet count 454. I'm so confused!
Talk about it: The key is that you're getting treated. Your physician will try to keep your ferritin fairly low. That platelet count is fine. The white count has little to do with your hemochromatosis status. I'm really glad this got picked up. If it's missed, it's slow, miserable and deadly. Of all the very-very-serious diseases, it's the easiest to manage. Best wishes. ...Read more
It is iron overload: Hemochromatosis is a disease in which the body acculumates excessive iron and treatment of choice is to donate blood regularly until your iron level is down to normal/near normal range. Since it is a state of iron excess, you should minimize foods high in iron--spinache, redmeats, egg yokes, clams/oysters, beans, liver, artichokes etc...Check with doc regularly. Good luck. ...Read more
I tested positive for hemachromotosis genetic mutation. My iron levels were high but ferritin was only 50. I'm 19. Should I avoid iron in food?
No way to avoid iron: Need further details but you should know that Hemochromatosis mutation analysis only diagnostic if a sibling has it. The phlebotomy treatment aims to lower your ferritin to 50 ng/ml or less. The best screen is % saturation of TIBC (total iron-binding capacity), calculated from your TIBC and your serum iron. If 45% or higher, then a ferritin >300 ng/mL in men and >200 ng/ml in women is diagnostic ...Read more
If I have a genetic cholesterol problem, is there a safe way to wean and stay off statins? Is it possible with diligence to diet?
No clear answer: Generally, aerobic exercise & a diet low in saturated fat/cholesterol is good for keeping cholesterol controlled. Almonds, walnuts, tofu, fiber, plant sterols/stannols, fish oil, vegan diet can be helpful. In certain cases, some treatments are more appropriate than others; e.g. Fish oil lowers tg but can raise ldl; best off asking your family doc or getting 2nd opinion (genetic problems differ). ...Read more
No: No, not that I know of.Get a more detailed answer ›
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. ...Read more
Iron overload: This is a genetic tendency to absorb iron too readily through the gut, overloading and damaging the organs. Of all the common, deadly diseases that disable and kill young adults, this is by far the easiest to manage by removing blood and thus iron. Consider yourself fortunate. Secondary hemochromatosis is due to repeated transfusions and is more difficult to care for. Glad you're diagnosed. ...Read more
Get treated or die: It's as simple as that. Common hereditary hemochromatosis is by far the easiest to manage of all the common, deadly diseases of young people. It announces itself as elevated liver enzymes, impotence, an odd skin color, sore joints at the base of the thumbs, glucose intolerance, or whatever. Accept therapeutic phlebotomy and you'll feel much better. If it's missed or neglected, it's deadly. Period. ...Read more
Hemochromatosis: Genetic metabolic disorder of the utilization of iron and can lead to tissue Fe deposits which can have serious side effects to those organs, especially the liver. ...Read more
Several drugs exist which lower cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme in liver cells (hmg-coa reductase) that is involved in cholesterol synthesis. These all have generic names that end in -statin, e.g. Atorvastatin (lipitor) and Simvastatin (zocor). Since nearly all of the meds in this class have been shown to have similar cardiovascular benefits, we often discuss them ...Read more