Reducing the amount of iron in your body to normal levels, Preventing or delaying organ damage from iron overload, Maintaining a normal amount of iron in your body for the rest of your life. Limit your intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from food. Phlebotomy may be required about once or twice a week. Talking to a professional counselor also can help. Treatment may help prevent, delay, or sometimes reverse complications of the disease. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. Iron chelation therapy uses medicine to remove excess iron from your body. Hemochromatosis is a condition in which your body stores too much iron. Thus, your doctor may recommend other tests as well. Hereditary diseases that cause damage to the liver include hemochromatosis, involving accumulation of iron in the body, and Wilson's disease. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. This helps your doctor find out how much iron is in your body. Young children rarely develop hemochromatosis. In fact, signs and symptoms usually don't occur in men until they're 40 to 60 years old. Laboratory Testing, and the Current American Diabetes Association Guidelines. Signs and symptoms also vary based on the severity of the disease. You can't prevent primary, or inherited, hemochromatosis. Your doctor may test your serum ferritin level if your TS level is high. Also, genetic testing may not detect other, less common faulty genes that also can cause hemochromatosis. Alcohol use can worsen liver damage and cirrhosis caused by hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is an iron disorder in which the body simply loads too much iron. After your iron levels return to normal, you may continue phlebotomy treatments. 14-17 Iron-rich foods need not be restricted from the diet, because phlebotomy therapy is a much more efficient process than dietary limitations. A serum ferritin level test shows how much iron is stored in your body's organs. If organ damage has already occurred, treatment may prevent further damage and improve life expectancy. If you have hemochromatosis, liver function tests may show the severity of the disease. Hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States. The disease sometimes is detected while checking for other diseases or conditions, such as arthritis, liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, or erectile dysfunction (impotence). Some estimates suggest that as many as half of all people who have the disease don't have signs or symptoms. Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload) Hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload) is an inherited disorder in which there is excessive accumulation of iron in the body. If you received your ASCP Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) or Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) certification after 1/1/2004, the American Society for Clinical Pathology requires you to earn Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) points to maintain your certification. Secondary hemochromatosis is usually the result of something else, such as anemia, thalassemia, liver disease, or blood transfusions. Signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis usually don't occur until middle age. Too much iron in the heart can cause irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs) and heart failure. This form of the disease sometimes is called hereditary or classical hemochromatosis. It is the most common genetic disease in whites. However, many people who have two copies of the faulty gene don't develop signs or symptoms of the disease. Receive automatic alerts about NHLBI related news and highlights from across the Institute. The most effective treatment for hemochromatosis is therapeutic phlebotomy. [56, 57] A genetic counselor also can help figure out the likelihood of the parents passing the faulty genes on to their children. During a liver biopsy, your doctor numbs an area near your liver and then removes a small sample of liver tissue using a needle. Primary hemochromatosis is caused by a defect in the genes that control how much iron you absorb from food. Hereditary haemochromatosis (or hemochromatosis) is a genetic disorder characterized by excessive intestinal absorption of dietary iron, resulting in a pathological increase in total body iron stores. Injected iron chelation therapy is done at a doctor's office. You may be advised to: Your doctor may prescribe other treatments as needed for complications such as liver disease, heart problems, or diabetes. Therapeutic phlebotomy is used to remove excess iron and maintain low normal body iron stores in patients with hemochromatosis. 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