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Understanding Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis (HH) is a disease that results from excessive amounts of iron in the body (iron overload).

Hereditary (genetic) hemochromatosis (HHC) an inherited disorder of abnormal iron metabolism. Individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis absorb too much dietary iron. Once absorbed, the body does not have an efficient way of excreting iron excesses.  Over time, these excesses build to a condition of iron overload, which is a toxic to cells. Glands and organs, including the liver, heart, pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, synovium (joints) and bone marrow burdened with excess iron cannot function properly.  Symptoms develop and disease progresses.

There are several types of genetic hemochromatosis. These include: Type I or Classic (HHC); Type II a, b or Juvenile (JHC); Type III or Transferrin Receptor Mutation; and Type IV or Ferroportin Mutation.

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