Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hemochromatosis Overview

What is hemochromatosis?
A person with hemochromatosis absorbs too much iron, resulting in a buildup of iron in the heart, liver, pancreas, joints and skin. High levels of iron are toxic to organs, and can result in organ failure. Hemochromatosis can occur at any age, and responds well to treatment. The cause of hemochromatosis in children is unknown, while hemochromatosis in adults is inherited.

What are the symptoms of hemochromatosis?
Symptoms of hemochromatosis include right upper abdominal pain, liver enlargement, abdominal swelling, impotence, joint pains, palpitations, bronze skin, and weakness or fatigue.

How does the doctor treat hemochromatosis?
Treatment for hemochromatosis includes avoiding foods that contain iron, a liver disease diet, phlebotomy, and medications that remove iron from the bloodstream.

Continue to Hemochromatosis Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hemochromatosis References
  1. Adams PC, Reboussin DM, Barton JC, et al.; Hemochromatosis and Iron Overload Screening (HEIRS) Study Research Investigators. Hemochromatosis and iron-overload screening in a racially diverse population. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 28;352(17):1769-78. [15858186]
  2. Franchini M, Veneri D. Hereditary hemochromatosis. Hematology. 2005 Apr;10(2):145-9. [16019461]
  3. Kowdley KV. Iron, hemochromatosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Gastroenterology. 2004 Nov;127(5 Suppl 1):S79-86. [15508107]
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