May Is Hemochromatosis Awareness Month in Central New York. Hemochromatosis is a disorder of iron metabolism. Individuals who have this disorder absorb (far) too much iron from their daily diets. Over a period of time, the excess iron absorbed can lead to serious illness and (even) death. Early detection and simple treatment of hemochromatosis can prevent the above.
It's gotten a bit better in recent years but still, far too many people with this most often inherited disorder, are not being properly diagnosed until after the damage has been done. If undetected, the excess iron can (and eventually will) reach toxic levels in tissues of major organs including the liver, heart, pancreas, pituitary, thyroid and joints.
Remember the word 'ferritin'. A person's ferritin level is the best indicator of how much iron is being stored in the body. We strongly recommend that all adults ask your physician to periodically check your ferritin level. If it's over 400...you're storing too much iron. Your physician should recognize that fact and become alerted to the possibility that you are a candidate for hereditary hemochromatosis. Don't be afraid to ask.