What Is Hemochromatosis and What Causes It?

Q:
What is hemochromatosis and what causes it?

A:
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.

Causes
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.

 

 

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