Genetic Haemochromatosis

17th January 2019

Specialised Testing

Genetic Haemochromatosis

“When I reached my mid-fifties, a suffered a lot of fatigue and general body weakness. I worried that I had inherited genetic hemochromatosis from my mum. Randox Health gave me peace of mind that my symptoms were not down to an inherited condition, but dietary issues which were easily corrected.”

Hereditary haemochromatosis, which was discussed this morning on BBC Radio 4, causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. The BBC News report today said that Exeter University has found the condition could affect up to 20 times more people than earlier figures suggested.

It was believed to seriously affect about one in 100 carriers. But the new research has suggested the true level could be closer to one in 10 among female carriers, and one in five for men. This would make the genetic condition the UK’s most common genetic disorder.

Lead researcher Prof David Melzer commented;

“We’ve shown that hereditary haemochromatosis is actually a much more common and stealth disease, including in older people.”

Excess iron within those suffering from genetic heamochromatosis is stored in the organs, especially the liver, heart and pancreas. Too much iron can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes.

Prof Melzer said haemochromatosis was easy to treat if caught early enough, but was “difficult to spot,” with the main reason being that diagnosis is quite often made at a stage when much of the damage from the condition has already been done.

It is clear therefore that early diagnosis is key in successful management of genetic haemochromatosis.

If you are found to have excess levels of iron as a result of genetic haemochromatosis, treatment is relatively simple and consists of venesection (bloodletting.) The body makes more blood to replace that taken, and therefore uses up the excess stored iron.

Randox Health offers a specialised test for detecting genetic hemochromatosis so if you’re worried about developing symptoms, or already think you have developed symptoms – including fatigue, joint disease, skin problems, and sexual health issues – get in touch today.

Early diagnosis and treatment of GH can seriously improve the outcome for individuals with the condition, by preventing any further organ damage. Randox Health not only offers a test to screen for the genetic mutations most commonly associated with GH, we can also check at the same time for damage to other parts of the body as a result of high iron levels (e.g. diabetes, liver damage and heart damage).

Furthermore, if you do have GH, your close family members should also be screened for the condition.

Get in touch today to book your appointment. Phone 0800 2545 130 or email info@randoxhealth.com

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