What is hemochromatosis and what causes it?
People having hereditary hemochromatosis absorb too much iron from the food eaten. Excess iron is stored in the organs, especially liver, heart and pancreas.
Too much iron can cause life-threatening conditions, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes.
There are four types of hemochromatosis:
- Hereditary hemochromatosis.
- Juvenile hemochromatosis.
- Neonatal hemochromatosis.
- Secondary hemochromatosis.
The first type is caused by two genes (called HFE) mutatioins, C282Y and H638.
Second: mutations in the hemojuvelin or hepcidin genes.
Third: an autoimmune disease.
Fourth: multiple blood transfusions, which can lead to excess iron accumulation.