Hemochromatosis

The name of this disease is hereditary hemochromatosis.  Most people call this disease excess iron, or just hemochromatosis.

Name of the disease (scientific and common names)

Explaination

Hemochromatosis is a metabolic disorder that can create an impact on a lot of Americans lives.  Hemochromatosis is when the body has too much iron in its system.  If it's not treated it can be very damaging and eventually fatal.  People that have a type of this disease can absorb extra amounts of iron from what they eat. The body can't get rid of it, if it builds over time it can go into your major organs.

Gene/Inheritance

The gene of this genetic mutation is the HFE gene. It's usually on chromosome 6.  There is more than one mutation, and the names of the ones you can currently get tested for are C282Y, H63D, and S65C, though the first two are the most common. If you inherit two HFE genes, you have a 70% chance of getting the actual disease, though you have a 100% chance of becoming a carrier. If you inherit one hemochromatosis gene, you have no chance of getting the disease, but can pass it on to your children.

This is the HFE gene, the gene for Hemochromatosis.

Symptoms

Recurring or lengthy bout of fatigue and/or joint pain are the most frequent complaints of people with Hemochromatosis.  Some of the other common symptoms are lack of energy, abdominal pain, loss of memory, odd heart beats.  The less common symptoms are chest pain, heart attack, skin color changes, diabetes, elevated liver enzymes, elevated iron, cancer, emotional changes, depression, hair loss, impotence.

Complications

Some of the complications involved with the genetic disease are, when most of the excess iron in the blood is stored in the organs, it builds up and can become poisonous to the body. Many people have hemochromatosis. 10% or less of people with hemochomatosis have a bad degree of iron load, which would make it build up. Another complication is many diseases can be caused by this genetic disorder. A few are liver cancer, an enlarged heart or heart failure, osteoarthritis in the knuckles, ankles, and hips.

Treatment

In order to treat this disease you need to get iron levels down to normal.  Therapeutic blood removal, or phlebotomy is the most common iron reduction process.  Before hemochromatosis wasn't well known, you didn't really know whether you had it or not.  There are treatment options now, so we can treat it sooner so that we don't have to die from it.  This disease was founded a few decades ago.

Links to Organizations

Graph

Only very few Americans ingest so much iron they get very sick. People with the disease, the people have to go to a doctor so it doesn't get bad.

Sources Cited

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