The American Hemochromatosis Society’s “National Hemochromatosis Genetic Testing and Awareness Month” is July 2012.
Hereditary hemochromatosis is an inherited condition also known as iron overload or iron storage disease. Iron is a mineral found in many foods. When it is not processed properly inside the body, it becomes toxic, poisoning organs and causing organ failure–especially in the liver, heart, and pancreas. This disease occurs more frequently among people with European ancestry, especially Irish and Scottish ancestry.
The most common symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis include fatigue, joint pain, upper right abdominal pain, impotence or loss of sex drive, and lack of menstruation. Symptoms generally occur in men between ages 30-50. On the other hand, women typically exhibit symptoms later in life—often after menopause. Be aware that some people never exhibit symptoms.
The HealthCheck USA hereditary hemochromatosis test consists of a simple, painless cheek swab test kit you can use in the privacy of your own home. The kit tests for both the major gene mutation, Cys282Tyr (also known as 845A) and a second mutation, His63Asp (also known as 187G). The test also includes access to free genetic counseling, through our partnership with Kimball Genetics.
Once diagnosed, hemochromatosis is treated by periodic blood letting– identical to blood donation. With an early diagnosis, hemochromatosis is easily treated and the patient can have a normal life span.
For more information about hemochromatosis, contact:
Sandra Thomas, President, American Hemochromatosis Society
Office Tel: 407-829-4488 Toll free: 1-888-655-IRON (4766)
4044 W. Lake Mary Blvd., 104, PMB 416, Lake Mary, Fl. 32746