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Doctor insights on: Hemochromatosis Digestive Health

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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?

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

Dr. (Liz)Phuong Tran
316 doctors shared insights

Hemochromatosis (Definition)

Hemochromatosis is a medical condition caused by iron accumulation in the body. It can be the result of underlying hereditary disease or be due ...Read more


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Why do people develop hemochromatosis?

Why do people develop hemochromatosis?

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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What do you suggest if my friend has a hemochromatosis?

What do you suggest if my friend has a hemochromatosis?

Blood letting: Hemochromatosis can be easily managed by periodic removal of blood to drain the body of excess iron. This is about the only disease where the old practice of blood letting actually works. ...Read more

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Which is the impact of hemochromatosis on the individual, family and society?

Which is the impact of hemochromatosis on the individual, family and society?

Homework question: An individual with hemochromatosis dies in middle age unless diagnosed and treated. Treatment is extremely easy compared with the other common killers and leads to a healthy life. Sufferers are often accused of being alcoholics in denial if their physicians are unaware of hemochromatosis. I hope you can flesh this out for class. Noncompliance and ignorance kill. ...Read more

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Is paranoia related to hemochromatosis?

It is possible: Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disorder which leads to iron overload in the body caused by excess iron absorption from the GI tract. The extra iron is deposited in various organs in the body including the heart, liver, joints, pancreas & thyroid glands. Iron can also be deposited in the brain & can lead to cognitive impairment. Depending on the location, it may cause paranoia. ...Read more

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What is iron overload, hemochromatosis?

Too much bodily iron: As a result of the inability to increase iron loss, iron overload is an inevitable response to increased iron entry into the body. This can occur by one of three mechanisms - nutritional intake, increased absorption, parenteral sources (i.e. Transfusions). Hemochromatosis is abnormally high absorption of iron as result of a genetic defect. Extra iron can be toxic. ...Read more

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I have hemochromatosis - can I donate blood?

I have hemochromatosis - can I donate blood?

No: Unfortunately, the red cross does not allow this blood to be donated even though there is nothing wrong with the blood. However, certain bacteria thrive on iron and that may be the red cross's rational. ...Read more

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How exactly do you test for hemochromatosis?

How exactly do you test for hemochromatosis?

Varous blood work: Helpful., such as serum transferrin, transferin saturation, liver enzyme testing, ferritin level. Other options include, liver biopsy and imaging. ...Read more

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How common is iron overload/hemochromatosis?

How common is iron overload/hemochromatosis?

1 in 200: It's extremely common, and of all the common, serious diseases, it is the easiest to manage. If it's discovered relatively late, the person realizes they've had "the blahs" for years once phlebotomy removes the excess iron. ...Read more

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How serious is iron overload, hemochromatosis?

Can be deadly: 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. ...Read more

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Dr. Ali Yazdy
376 doctors shared insights

Digestive Health (Definition)

Digestive health refers to the proper functioning of the digestive tract, including the stomach, ...Read more