6 doctors weighed in:
If I have the single gene mutation (heterozygote) and am a "silent carrier" for hemochromatosis, will I become iron overloaded?
6 doctors weighed in

Dr. Scott McLean
Clinical Genetics
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Scott McLean
Dr. Scott McLean
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Dr. Gregg Albers
Addiction Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Gregg Albers
Dr. Gregg Albers
Thank
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