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What is Haemochromatosis?

 

Haemochromatosis, or GH (Genetic Haemochromatosis), is a genetic disorder causing the body to absorb an excessive amount of iron from the diet: the iron is then deposited in various organs, mainly the liver, but also the pancreas, heart, endocrine glands, and joints.

Normally the liver stores a small amount of iron for the essential purpose of providing new red blood cells with iron, vital for health. When excessive quantities of iron are stored in the liver it becomes enlarged and damaged. Deposits of iron may also occur in other organs and joints, causing serious tissue damage.

For a long time it was believed that the disorder was rare, so GH was seldom considered as a possible diagnosis. However, recent surveys of people of Northern European origin have shown a prevalence of 1 in 200 likely to be at risk of developing iron overload. GH is now recognised as being one of the most common genetic disorders.

The Society was set up to provide support and information for those affected by GH. Members receive information leaflets, treatment record cards, a Haemochromatosis Handbook, quarterly newsletter and the opportunity to attend the AGM and hear medical professionals give their updates. For more information please click on 'about the society' in the links on the left.

Help, support and information for those affected by Haemochromatosis (Iron Overload Disorder)

The Haemochromatosis Society is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 1001307) and in Scotland (No. SC041701), and a company Limited by Guarantee (No. 2541361).

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Content Reviewed March 2014 | Author: The Haemochromatosis Society © 2013

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