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Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload Disease)

Hemochromatosis [5]

Microscopic View of Hemochromatosis Stained Blue. Courtesy Wikimedia

What Is Hemochromatosis?

Hemochromatosis, also called iron [6] overload liver disease, is a common inherited disease in the Caucasian population that is characterized by increased iron [6] deposition within the tissues (overload) associated with injury to them.

Hemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive disease, meaning a pair of abnormal genes are inherited from each parent. Parents are unaffected because they carry only one gene.

Q: Where is iron [6] deposited?

A: In hemochromatosis, more iron [6] is absorbed from the small intestine than is needed by the body. Subsequently, because the body has no satisfactory means to release iron [6] overload, excess iron [6] is deposited in various organs such as the liver causing cirrhosis, joints causing arthritis, and the pancreas causing diabetes mellitus.1 [7]

Consumption of alcoholic drinks with food should be avoided because alcohol increases leaky gut and greatly increases the absorption of iron [6]. On the flip side, eggs and foods containing calcium [8] such as milk and cheese are beneficial for hemochromatosis because they impair the absorption of iron [6]. Another iron [6] inhibitor is food that contains phytic acid which includes the bran and outer layer of grains, seeds, nuts, peas, beans, and lentils.

Iron [6] overloading, as measured by a random (non-fasting) elevated transferrin saturation value, is estimated to occur in 1 to 6 people per 100 in the United States according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Too much iron [6] increases the risk for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer, liver disease, and osteoporosis.

Medical treatment to remove excess iron [6] from the body uses phlebotomy that draws blood through a vein and/or certain injectable drugs (deferoxamine and deferairox) that bind to iron [6].

What Is Hemochromatosis In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. www.irondisorders.org  [11]