Doctor insights on:
Hemochromatosis Digestive Health
There's an hemochromatosis health issue in my family. My grandfather had it, but not my father. What are the chances that I have the disease?
Low, probably: If your granddad had hereditary hemochromatosis caused by homozygous mutations of the hfe gene, then your father has at least one mutation. Your mom may be a carrier - this is pretty common: about 1/9 people with a northern european background have 1 mutation. So your risk of inheriting 2 mutations may be about 3%. However, 75-90% of individuals with 2 mutations never get sick. ...Read more
Certainly: Red meats are known for iron content in them, so avoid those, avoid foods high in vitamin c, as it increases iron absorption. Foods high in sugar should be avoided, as it increases iron absorption. Avoid raw shellfish.Alcohol in moderation, better off - none. Should eat - nuts, veggies, grains, rice, beans. Coffee and tea are fine if not consumed in excessive amounts. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Varies: Many times, it is only presented with high iron saturation and or iron storage without having any symptoms. However, the clinical manifestations of iron accumulation can include liver disease, elevation of liver enzymes, skin pigmentation, diabetes mellitus, arthropathy, impotence in males, and cardiac enlargement with or without heart failure or conduction defects etc. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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 moreSee 1 more doctor answer
No one in my family has ever been diagnosed with hemochromatosis or had any of the symptoms; how could I possibly have this disease?
Recessive genetics: Hereditary hemochromatosis is a recessive genetic disease - you have to inherit two mutations, one in each of your two hfe genes, to develop this condition. Your parents would be carriers but completely unaffected. What's more, only 10-15% of folks with two mutations ever get sick. The american hemochromatosis society (http://www.Americanhs.Org/) has more information. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
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
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). ...Read more
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