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Feature Quiz: Hemochromatosis - Alt Text Version

Question 1: What are three or more medical problems that someone with hemochromatosis might have?



  1. Fatigue (feeling very tired)
  2. Weakness
  3. Weight loss
  4. Abdominal (belly) pain
  5. Joint pain



Question 2: Can you “catch” hemochromatosis from someone who has the condition?


Answer: No, you cannot “catch” hemochromatosis.


The disease is usually caused by a genetic disorder. A person who inherits the defectivegene from both parents may develop hemochromatosis.



Question 3: Is there a cure for hemochromatosis?


Answer: No, there is no cure for hemochromatosis.


However, if hemochromatosis is found early, treatment can slow its progress and prevent serious problems.



Question 4: If a person has hemochromatosis, will it make things worse to take a daily vitamin with iron?


Answer: Yes.


Taking iron supplements or multivitamins with iron can speed up the rate at which iron builds up in the body. People with hemochromatosis should not take pills containing iron.


Question 5: What age do people usually start to have symptoms of the disease?


Answer: Symptoms tend to occur in men between the ages of 30 and 50 and in women over age 50.


For people at risk of developing hemochromatosis, the speed at which iron builds up and the severity of the symptoms vary from person to person. Many people do not have any early symptoms.



Question 6: How is hemochromatosis diagnosed?


Answer: Hemochromatosis is diagnosed with a blood test.



Question 7: How many people in the United States are at risk for hemochromatosis?


Answer: In the United States more than one million people have a gene mutation (a change within the information in a gene) that can cause hemochromatosis.


This gene mutation is most common among people whose ancestors came from Europe. Not all people with this gene mutation develop iron overload, and not all people with iron overload develop the symptoms of hemochromatosis.



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