Hemochromatosis is a hereditary disease, which affects the levels of iron your body absorbs, therefore disturbing the working function of some vital organs. To develop Hemochromatosis, you must inherit one abnormal HFE gene from each parent, if you only inherit one abnormal gene and one regular gene, you will not develop the disease, but you are considered a carrier of the abnormal gene. A small minority of people who inherit this HFE gene will develop serious symptoms, but as too much iron can be toxic, problems with the liver, heart, and pancreas can lead to further complications such as diabetes, lung disease, and heart disease.
Usually occurring later in life between the ages of 50-60 in men and 60+ in women, symptoms include the following: Abdominal pain and joint pain, fatigue and weakness, loss of libido and impotence, the onset of diabetes and heart irregularities. As these symptoms are common in a lot of other conditions Hemochromatosis can be hard to diagnose. A doctor will run some tests on your blood and serum, an MRI or even a liver biopsy.
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