Iron overload

Description of Iron overload

Hemochromatosis is a disease in which too much iron builds up in your body. The body needs iron but too much of it is toxic. In case of hemochromatosis, the body absorbs more iron than needed. The body has no natural way to get rid of the extra iron. It stores it in body tissues, especially the liver, heart, and pancreas. The extra iron can damage your organs. Without treatment, it can cause your organs to fail.

There are two types of hemochromatosis:
1. Primary hemochromatosis is an inherited disease.
2. Secondary hemochromatosis is usually the result of something else, such as anemia, thalassemia, liver disease, or blood transfusions.
Signs and Symptoms
Many symptoms of hemochromatosis are similar to those of other diseases. Not everyone has symptoms. However, some common symptoms are:
1. Joint pain
2. Fatigue
3. General weakness
4. Weight loss
5. Stomach pain
1. Your doctor will diagnose hemochromatosis based on your medical and family history.
2. Your doctor may examine you physically and suggest a few blood tests also.
Treatments include:
1. Removing blood (and iron) from the body
2. Medicines
3. Changes in the diet
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Content Details
Last updated on:
04 Sep 2017 | 10:29 AM (IST)
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