Haematologists is a common inherited disorder where the body absorbs too much iron from the diet affecting about 1 in 80 people.
- Joint pain
- Abdominal pain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of libido
- Bronzing of the skin
- Mood swings and irritability
Over time, if left untreated haemochromatosis can lead to:
- Heart disease
- Liver failure
- Premature death
Haemochromatosis is diagnosed with two blood tests:
- Iron Studies – to assess if there is iron overload and, if needed,
- Genetic test – to confirm the diagnosis
If you have these symptoms, a family history of haemochromatosis or if a family member has died from liver disease you should visit your doctor to get screened.
Treatment is simple: by taking off excess blood (venesection / therapeutic phlebotomy) excess iron is removed from the system before it can do any damage. A balanced diet avoiding iron rich foods reduces the frequency that treatments are required.
GP Care’s haemochromatosis service is covered by all insurance providers and by the Medical Card Service.