Urgent Care

What is Haemochromatosis?

Hemochromatosis is a condition in which your body retains an abnormally large amount of iron. You may be aware that iron is a vital nutrient obtained from the diet, as it is necessary to build haemoglobin in your blood cells. Unfortunately, holding too much iron in your body can be harmful, especially to internal organs such as your liver, pancreas, and heart. As a result, treatments such as Venesection for Hemochromatosis are often used to prevent iron accumulation, which can lead to organ dysfunction. In addition, we accurately diagnose Hemochromatosis at Narooma Medical Centre, as well as guide you on lifestyle adjustments you may make to live a better, fuller life.

The term “primary hemochromatosis” refers to a disorder caused by genetics. On the other hand, secondary hemochromatosis is caused by another blood-related illness, such as anaemia or blood transfusions. Symptoms usually occur around the age of 30, and while there is no treatment for Hemochromatosis, there are several therapies that can be used to lessen the quantity of iron in your body. One of the most common therapies for this illness is venesections or venesection therapy.

What are the symptoms of Hemochromatosis?

Some patients with hereditary Hemochromatosis do not exhibit any symptoms. However, early indications and symptoms of this disorder may coincide with those of other prevalent conditions.

Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Joint discomfort
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Diabetes
  • Failure of the heart
  • Failure of the liver
  • Skin tone of bronze or grey
  • Memory haze
What are the symptoms of Hemochromatosis?

What are the causes of Hemochromatosis?

Hereditary Hemochromatosis is associated with mutations in a gene that affects the amount of iron your body receives from food. These mutations are handed down via generations. This is by far the most frequent kind of Hemochromatosis.

Hereditary Hemochromatosis is most commonly caused by a gene called HFE. Each of your parents gives you one HFE gene. C282Y and H63D are two rampantly found variants in the HFE gene. You can find out if you have these mutations in your HFE gene through genetic testing.

Hemochromatosis can occur if two faulty genes are inherited. The mutation can also be passed on to your children. However, not everyone who receives two genes gets hemochromatosis-related complications.
You are unlikely to get Hemochromatosis if you inherit just one faulty gene. However, you are a carrier of the gene mutation and can pass it on to your children. However, unless your children have got another defective gene from the other parent, they will not acquire the condition.

What are the causes of Hemochromatosis?

The effects of Hemochromatosis on your organs

Iron is necessary for various bodily functions, including the creation of blood, however, too much iron is harmful.

The liver secretes a hormone called hepcidin, which regulates how iron is used and absorbed in the body and how excess iron is stored in other organs. The usual job of hepcidin is interrupted in Hemochromatosis, leading your body to collect more iron than it requires.

This extra iron is kept in significant organs, particularly the liver. Over time, the accumulated iron can cause serious harm, potentially leading to organ failure and chronic diseases like cirrhosis, diabetes, and heart failure. Despite the fact that many people have defective genes that cause Hemochromatosis, not everyone gets iron excess to the point that tissue and organ damage occurs.

What are some of the complications?

Hereditary Hemochromatosis, if left untreated, can cause a variety of issues, particularly in your joints and organs where extra iron is deposited, such as your liver, pancreas, and heart. Complications can include the following:

Problems with the liver. Cirrhosis, or permanent scarring of the liver, is just one of the issues that might arise. Cirrhosis increases your chances of developing liver cancer and other potentially fatal problems.
Diabetes. Diabetes can be caused by pancreatic damage.
Heart issues. Excess iron in your heart impairs your ability to circulate enough blood to meet your body's needs. This is referred to as congestive heart failure. Hemochromatosis can also induce irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).

  • Problems with reproduction Excess iron can result in erectile dysfunction (impotence), a lack of sex drive in men, and a lack of menstrual cycle in women.
  • Skin colour shifts. Iron deposits in skin cells can cause your skin to appear bronze or grey in tone.
  • We Care Health are very well and thoroughly equipped to handle any and all cases of Hemochromatosis. In addition, our team of specialized doctors can carry the procedure of Venesection. 
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