July is Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month

July is Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month

Hemochromatosis is a disease that results from iron overload in the body.

In the United States, the most common form of hemochromatosis is hereditary hemochromatosis.

Hereditary hemochromatosis is an inherited genetic disorder. 

People with hereditary hemochromatosis absorb too much iron from their diet. Once the iron is absorbed, their body does not have an efficient way of excreting the excess iron.  Over time, excess iron will build up in the organs, including the liver, and cause complications, including cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, irregular heart rhythms, weakening of the heart muscle, arthritis, and erectile dysfunction.

Each year 375,000 Americans will die of complications from hemochromatosis.

Knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor understand your risk for hemochromatosis.

Simple blood tests can be done to screen people who may have iron buildup due to hereditary hemochromatosis. These blood tests measure how much iron is in the body.

Luckily, if you have hemochromatosis, there is treatment available that is simple, inexpensive, and safe. Click here to learn more about hemochromatosis and speak to you doctor this month about getting screened!