The Heart and hemochromatosis

I found out last year that I have elevated iron levels in my body. The likely cause is a genetic anomaly called "Heriditary Hemochromatosis" or HH.
It causes iron to build up throughout the body, including in the heart. HH can be the cause of heart attack---yet many doctors miss the iron connection to heart disease; and fail to test their heart patients for iron overload.

About 1% - 2% of the north American population has the full blown HH disease, but another larger percentage of people, male and female are carriers of the HH gene(s).

The incidence of HH symptoms is higher in post-menopausal women due to the fact that they no longer have monthly periods. ( The blood loss in a period can help prevent a worse build up of iron in the blood. After menopause, there is no such protection.)

I wanted to share this information with everyone, in case you might need to have an iron panel blood test to detect excess iron in your body. If you do get iron-tested, ask for a copy of your lab results; then go this website:
http://www.irondisorders.org/
to check your lab results against what is normal and what is excessive iron.
I hope this could be of help to you.

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I know of two un-related individuals that have Hemochromatosis and they have to have treatments each couple of months. I, on the other hand, have the opposite problem and after my OHS required a blood transfusion and I'm now on iron pills. Hope the pills work because I don't want to go back onto the needle version.

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AZ_Mona I tried to find more info about H/Hemochromatosis when my young cousin was tested for it. She is of Anglo Irish heritage - From what I can gather people from other heritages aren't immune either but us of British & Irish stock have a higher risk of owning the faulty gene that causes the problem? Thankfully my cousin didn't have it but smart of her Dr to check. Not something I had heard of before.

I found this article interesting
http://www.americanhs.org/Irish%20in%20the%20blood.htm

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I'm sorry to hear that you have problems with very low iron. I hope that the iron pills work, for you.

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lilacsback, thank you for the link to the excellent article. Like you, I also have heritage form England/ Scotland/Wales/ Ireland. In some circles, hemochromatosis is called the "Celtic Curse"---because the highest incidence of HH in any world population is in Ireland.

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my friend with Hemochromatosis was told to donate blood as often as allowable - helps others and helps her :)

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The information provided by this online support network through WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Inspire is for general informational purposes only. The information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease never recommends or endorses any specific physicians, products or treatments for any condition.