Hemochromatosis awareness month is July. This rare disorder also known as HCC causes the body to store too much Iron in the blood. If not treated it can be fatal because the Iron cannot be excreted and forms in the organs of the body.
Some symptoms of this disease are the following:
- arthritis in the hands, especially the knuckles, ankles and hips
- liver problems
- cardiac problems including heart attack, irregular heart beat and congestive heart failure
Diagnosis is usually made by specific blood tests. The main treatment for HCC is phlebotomy, which is the removal of blood. The number of treatments depends on the iron levels in the blood. Usually once the levels are normalized treatment is then on a maintenance schedule.
Diet also plays an important role in treating HCC. Avoiding foods high in iron like red meat. Also limiting alcohol and Vitamin C which helps the body to absorb Iron is important.
For more information please the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.