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Hemochromatosis is a metabolic disorder in which your organs accumulate excess iron, leading to organ damage. Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) affects one in 300 people in the United States. However, it often goes undiagnosed, partially due to its nonspecific symptoms.
Hemochromatosis: What You Need to Know
- One in nine people carries the HH gene, making the disease the most common genetic disorder in the country.
- Hemochromatosis may develop without any symptoms, making it difficult to diagnose early. If you are considered at risk, you should be screened regularly.
- Your doctor will order blood tests and possibly a biopsy to diagnose hemochromatosis.
- Phlebotomy is a special procedure used to treat hemochromatosis. This procedure removes the excess iron levels in your blood.
When hemochromatosis is diagnosed early, treatment can begin immediately and the prognosis is good. Untreated, hemochromatosis can lead to cirrhosis.
Read a more in-depth article about hemochromatosis, written by Johns Hopkins gastroenterologists, which details the anatomical description of the causes of hemochromatosis.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for hemachromatosis?
A laparoscopic liver biopsy provides an accurate diagnosis with a minimally invasive procedure.Find out more about liver biopsy.