Secondary Hemochromatosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments!

Secondary Hemochromatosis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that few know. Also, Secondary Hemochromatosis is a condition caused by over-absorption of iron from the food you consume, leading to an excessive concentration of iron in your blood. This can cause serious health problems as your body has no way of getting rid of excess iron . Excess Iron also builds up in your:

Symptoms of Secondary Hemochromatosis:  Many people with Secondary Hemochromatosis have no visible symptoms. When symptoms do exist, they can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms include:

Cause of Secondary Hemochromatosis:  The two forms of Secondary Hemochromatosis : they are primary and secondary. Primary Hemochromatosis is an inherited genetic disease that causes you to absorb too much iron from food.

Primary Hemochromatosis:  Most types of Primary Hemochromatosis are caused by mutations. The HFE gene, or the Hemochromatosis gene , controls how much iron you absorb from food. There are two common mutations of this gene that cause Hemochromatosis . A person must inherit one copy of the defective gene from each parent to develop this condition.

A person who inherits only one copy of a mutable gene is considered a carrier of the condition, but may never experience symptoms. Men with the hereditary form of this disease usually develop symptoms between the ages of 40 and 60. Women typically develop them after menopause .

The Two Special Subtypes of Primary Hemochromatosis are Juvenile and Neonatal.

  • Juvenile Hemochromatosis causes symptoms similar to those of Primary Primary Hemochromatosis , but typically affects people between the ages of 15 and 30. Also, this form is caused by a mutation in the Jovelina gene and not the HFE gene.
  • Neonatal Hemochromatosis causes a severe buildup of Iron in a child ‘s liver, sometimes resulting in death.

Secondary Hemochromatosis: Secondary  Hemochromatosis occurs when an accumulation of Iron is caused by other medical conditions, such as:

  • Anemia, which occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells.
  • Chronic liver disease, which often results from hepatitis C infection or alcoholism .
  • Frequent blood transfusions.
  • kidney dialysis.

Risk Factors For Primary Hemochromatosis:  The following people are at increased risk of developing Primary Hemochromatosis:

  • People who have a close relative with the disorder, such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent, are at greater risk of inheriting the gene mutation.
  • People of European descent are most at risk.
  • Women who are post-menopausal are at greater risk. Menstrual bleeding decreases the amount of iron in the blood, which can delay the onset of symptoms in people at risk of the disease.
  • While both men and women can inherit the disorder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that men are more likely to be diagnosed with the effects of the condition.

Not all people who inherit the genetic mutation for hemochromatosis develop the disease. Many people are carriers, which means they have the gene but have no symptoms. People at greatest risk of developing symptoms are those with two mutated copies of the HFE gene, one from each parent. However, not all of these people develop symptoms.

Risk Factors For Secondary Hemochromatosis Include

Diagnosis  Secondary Hemochromatosis:  The symptoms of hemochromatosis are similar to many other conditions. This makes diagnosis difficult. Several tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis of hemochromatosis.

Blood Test:  A blood test can be used to check your Iron levels . This is assessed using tests for serum iron levels and serum ferritin levels. An additional blood test called a serum transferrin saturation test can be used to measure the amount of iron bound to the transferrin protein, which carries iron in your blood. A test result of 45 percent or more is considered high.

DNA testing:  If your doctor thinks you may have hemochromatosis, DNA testing may be recommended. You will be checked for mutations in your HFE and Hemo Jovelina genes.

Liver Biopsy:  Your doctor may also do a liver biopsy . This removes a piece of liver tissue for pathology lab tests. Your doctor will look for the presence of Iron or liver injuries. The liver is the main storage site for iron . It is usually one of the first organs damaged by the accumulation of Iron .

Treatments for Secondary Hemochromatosis:  The treatment of choice for Secondary Hemochromatosis is phlebotomy. Phlebotomy is the removal of blood from your body. You may need phlebotomy regularly to remove excess iron . When you start the treatments, you will have them up to twice a week. After the initial treatments, you can come back four to six times a year.

If I don’t want Phlebotomy? Most people with Secondary Hemochromatosis find phlebotomy an effective way to relieve their symptoms. In general, it causes little pain and has few side effects. However, some people are uncomfortable with the procedure. Reasons people refuse phlebotomy include:

  • Fatigue After Treatment.
  • A fear of needles.
  • Pain during the process.
  • A concern that too much bleeding could cause anemia .
  • Discomfort from having blood discarded or used for transfusions.

Phlebotomy is the simplest and cheapest form of therapy for Secondary Hemochromatosis . If you have problems with the process, talk to your doctor about what you can do to make the process easier. Simple things like drinking lots of fluids the day before each procedure can make you more comfortable.

If phlebotomy is an unacceptable option, for whatever reason, there are other treatments. However, the medication that is used to treat Secondary Hemochromatosis is more expensive. It can also have side effects of its own. These include pain at the injection site and flu-like symptoms.

For people who refuse phlebotomy, a chelating medication may be used. This type of drug can be injected by your doctor or taken as a pill. This helps your body to flush out excess iron in your urine and stool. This treatment is also used for people with heart complications and other contraindications to phlebotomy.

The following are Examples of What Type of Damage May Occur:

  • Liver damage can cause cirrhosis, which is permanent scarring of the liver .
  • Pancreatic damage can cause changes in insulin levels, leading to diabetes.
  • Circulation problems can lead to heart failure.
  • Iron accumulation in your heart can lead to irregular heart rhythm.
  • Too much iron can cause your skin to turn tan or gray.

Your risk of complications may be reduced if treatment is started as soon as you develop symptoms of Secondary Hemochromatosis . If you have Secondary Hemochromatosis , you should avoid:

  • Iron Supplements .
  • Vitamin C supplements, which increase iron absorption .
  • alcohol.

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