What is haemochromatosis?

Haemochromatosis is a genetic disorder of iron metabolism, whereby a person absorbs too much iron.

Iron accumulation takes time to occur and consequently severely high iron levels & the potential to cause organ damage may take several years. Hence early diagnosis and treatment can prevent these complications.

There are different genetic sub-types of haemochromatosis & it is important to point out that not all people diagnosed genetically with the condition will indeed accumulate iron to very high levels. Those individuals with no organ damage can expect have a normal life span. Those who already have significantly damaged organs can have more serious problems and may need ongoing monitoring and treatment.

In some cases haemochromatosis may damage the liver (cirrhosis, cancer), heart, or lead to arthritis, diabetes and sexual dysfunction.


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