Hemochromatosis

Emily Upton & Savannah Schafer

Definition

- causes the body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat

- the excess iron is stored in organs, especially the liver, heart, and pancreas

Causes

- 4 Types of Hemochromatosis

     1. Hereditary- hereditary is caused by a mutation in a gene that controls the amount of iron absorbed

     2. Juvenile- begins much earlier than hereditary, between ages 15 and 30

     3. Neonatal- severe, develops rapidly in the liver of a developing fetus

     4. Secondary- comes about because of another disease such as chronic liver disease

Symptoms

- joint pain, fatigue, weakness, diabetes, loss of sex drive, heart failure, become tan

Diagnostic Tests

-blood tests, liver function tests, MRI, gene mutation testing, liver tissue sample

Incidence

- 1:6 people per 100 people in the US

Prevention

- avoid alcohol, raw seafood, iron, and vitamin C

Risk Factors

- having 2 copies of a mutated HFE gene

- family history

- ethnicity (Northern European people have a higher chance of getting Hemochromatosis)

- Being a man (women lose iron through menstruation)

Treatment

-Blood Removal (Phlebotomy)

- Medication if phlebotomy isn't available

References

"Hemochromatosis." Definition. Mayo Clinic, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

"Hemochromatosis (Iron Storage Disease)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 23 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

"Hemochromatosis Prevention." - Hemochromatosis. Health Communities, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

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