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Gastroenterologist (Transplant Hepatologist). If you have hemochromatosis, you should see a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood diseases) for your care. You should also see a cardiologist (a doctor who specializes in hearts), an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in the gland system), a hepatologist (a doctor who specializes in livers), a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in the digestive tract), and a rheumatologist (a .
Hemochromatosis is a condition in which there is too much iron in the body. It is also called iron overload. Hepatomegaly is enlargement of the liver beyond its normal size. Certain conditions such as infection, parasites, tumors, anemias, toxic states, storage diseases, heart failure, congenital heart disease, and metabolic disturbances may all cause an enlarged liver.
This disorder affects more men than women. It is common in white people of northern European descent. The health care provider will perform a physical exam.
This may show liver and spleen swelling, and skin color changes. The condition may be confirmed with a liver biopsy or genetic how to open z02 file extension. If a genetic cookie bouquets how to make is confirmed, other blood tests can be used to find out if other family members are at risk for iron overload. Why the procedure is needed depends on your symptoms and levels of hemoglobin and serum ferritin and how much iron you take in your diet.
Other health problems such as diabetes, decreased testosterone levels in men, arthritis, liver failure, and heart failure will be treated. If you are diagnosed with hemochromatosis, your provider may recommend a diet to reduce how much iron is absorbed through your digestive tract. Your provider may recommend the following:. Extra iron may also build up in other areas of the body, including the thyroid gland, testicles, pancreas, pituitary gland, heart, or joints.
Early treatment can help prevent complications such as liver disease, heart disease, arthritis or diabetes. How well you do depends on the amount of organ damage. Some organ damage can be reversed when hemochromatosis is detected early and treated aggressively with phlebotomy. Call for an appointment with your provider for screening if a family member has been diagnosed with hemochromatosis. Screening family members of a person diagnosed with hemochromatosis may detect the disease early so that treatment can be started before organ damage has occurred in other affected relatives.
Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; chap Brittenham GM. Disorders of iron homeostasis: iron deficiency and overload. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Editorial team. Hemochromatosis Iron overload; Blood transfusion - hemochromatosis. Causes Hemochromatosis may be a genetic disorder passed down through families.
People with this type absorb too much iron through their digestive tract. Iron builds up in the body. The liver, heart, and pancreas are common organs where iron builds up. It is present at birth, but may not be diagnosed for years. Hemochromatosis may also occur as a result of: Other blood disorders, such as thalassemia how to get rid of cats around the house certain anemias.
Too many blood transfusions over time may lead to iron overload. Long-term alcohol use and other health conditions. Symptoms Symptoms may include any of the following: Abdominal pain Fatigue, lack of energy, weakness Generalized darkening of skin color often referred to as bronzing Joint pain Loss of body hair Loss of sexual desire Weight loss.
Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical exam. Blood tests may help make the diagnosis. Tests may include: Ferritin level Iron level Percentage of transferrin saturation high Genetic testing Other tests may include: Blood sugar glucose level Alpha fetoprotein Echocardiogram to examine what type of doctor treats hemochromatosis heart's function Electrocardiogram ECG to look at the electrical activity of the heart Imaging tests such as CT scans, MRI, and ultrasound Liver function tests The condition may be confirmed with a liver biopsy or genetic testing.
Treatment The goal of treatment is to remove excess iron from the body and treat any organ damage. A procedure called phlebotomy is the best method for removing excess iron from the body: One half how to install korn shell in linux of blood is removed from the body each week until the body's iron stores are depleted.
This may take many months to do. After that, the procedure may be done less often to maintain normal iron storage. Your provider may recommend the following: Do not drink alcohol, especially if you have liver damage.
Do not take iron pills or vitamins containing iron. Do not use iron cookware. Outlook Prognosis Untreated, iron overload can lead to liver damage. Possible Complications Complications include: Liver cirrhosis Liver failure Liver cancer The disease may lead to the development of: Arthritis Diabetes Heart problems Increased risk for certain bacterial infections Testicular atrophy Skin color changes.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider if symptoms of hemochromatosis develop. Prevention Screening family members of a person diagnosed with hemochromatosis may detect the disease early so that treatment can be started before organ damage has occurred in other affected relatives.
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How do doctors treat the complications of hemochromatosis? Phlebotomy can prevent the complications of hemochromatosis. For people who already have complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer when they are diagnosed with hemochromatosis, phlebotomy may not be able to restore health. Finding a Doctor Iron Disorders Institute is not a medical facility but we do provide ample offerings to help an individual who suspects an iron disorder. In our years of experience we have discovered that the best way to do this is to provide tools to communicate with their primary care provider. Other doctors also may be involved in diagnosing and treating the disease, including: Hematologists (blood disease specialists) Cardiologists (heart specialists) Endocrinologists (gland system specialists) Hepatologists (liver specialists) Gastroenterologists (digestive tract specialists).
Your doctor will diagnose hemochromatosis based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and the results from tests and procedures. The disease sometimes is detected while checking for other diseases or conditions, such as arthritis, liver disease, diabetes , heart disease, or erectile dysfunction impotence. Family doctors and internal medicine specialists may diagnose and treat hemochromatosis. Other doctors also may be involved in diagnosing and treating the disease, including:.
Your doctor will do a physical exam to check for signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis. He or she will listen to your heart for irregular heartbeats and check for arthritis, abnormal skin color, and an enlarged liver. In hemochromatosis, the amount of iron in your body may be too high, even though the level of iron in your blood is normal.
Certain blood tests can help your doctor find out how much iron is in your body. During these tests, a sample of blood is taken from your body. It's usually drawn from a vein in your arm using a needle. The procedure usually is quick and easy, although it may cause some short-term discomfort.
The blood tests you have may include transferrin saturation TS , serum ferritin level, and liver function tests. Transferrin is a protein that carries iron in the blood. The TS test shows how much iron the transferrin is carrying. This helps your doctor find out how much iron is in your body. Your doctor may test your serum ferritin level if your TS level is high. A serum ferritin level test shows how much iron is stored in your body's organs.
A buildup of iron may suggest hemochromatosis. You may have liver function tests to check for damage to your liver. Liver damage may be a sign of hemochromatosis. If you have hemochromatosis, liver function tests may show the severity of the disease.
Blood tests alone can't diagnose hemochromatosis. Thus, your doctor may recommend other tests as well. During a liver biopsy, your doctor numbs an area near your liver and then removes a small sample of liver tissue using a needle. The tissue is then looked at under a microscope. A liver biopsy can show how much iron is in your liver. This procedure also can help your doctor diagnose liver damage for example, scarring and cancer.
Liver biopsies are less common now than in the past. Magnetic resonance imaging MRI is a safe test that uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create pictures of your organs. An MRI may be done to show the amount of iron in your liver. A superconducting quantum interference device SQuID is a machine that uses very sensitive magnets to measure the amount of iron in your liver.
This machine is available at only a few medical centers. Genetic testing can show whether you have a faulty HFE gene or genes. However, even if you do have two faulty HFE genes, the genetic test can't predict whether you'll develop signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis.
Also, genetic testing may not detect other, less common faulty genes that also can cause hemochromatosis. There are two ways to do genetic testing. Cells can be collected from inside your mouth using a cotton swab, or a sample of blood can be drawn from a vein in your arm.
People who have hemochromatosis or a family history of it and are planning to have children may want to consider genetic testing and counseling. Testing will help show whether one or both parents have faulty HFE genes. A genetic counselor also can help figure out the likelihood of the parents passing the faulty genes on to their children. Signs and Symptoms How is Anemia Diagnosed? How is Anemia Treated?
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Diagnosing Deep Vein Thrombosis? Who is at Risk for Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation? How is Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Treated? Who is at Risk for Fanconi Anemia? What are the signs and Symptoms of Fanconi Anemia? How is Fanconi Anemia Diagnosed? How is Fanconi Anemia Treated?
Who is at Risk for Hemochromatosis? What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hemochromatosis? How is Hemochromatosis Diagnosed? How is Hemochromatosis Treated? How Can Hemochromatosis Be Prevented? Who is at Risk for Hemolytic Anemia? How is Hemolytic Anemia Diagnosed?
How is Hemolytic Anemia Treated? What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Hemophilia? How is Hemophilia Diagnosed? How is Hemophilia Treated? Who is at Risk for Immune Thrombocytopenia? Who is at Risk of Iron-Deficiency Anemia? What are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency? How is Iron-Deficiency Anemia Diagnosed? How is Iron-Deficiency Anemia Treated? What Causes Pernicious Anemia? What are the Risk Factors for Pernicious Anemia?
What Causes Polycythemia Vera? How is Polycythemia Vera Treated? How is Pulmonary Embolism Treated? What Causes Sickle Cell Disease? Who is at Risk for Sickle Cell Disease? How Is Hemochromatosis Diagnosed? Specialists Involved Family doctors and internal medicine specialists may diagnose and treat hemochromatosis. Other doctors also may be involved in diagnosing and treating the disease, including: Hematologists blood disease specialists Cardiologists heart specialists Endocrinologists gland system specialists Hepatologists liver specialists Gastroenterologists digestive tract specialists Rheumatologists specialists in diseases of the joints and tissues Medical and Family Histories To learn about your medical and family histories, your doctor may ask: About your signs and symptoms, including when they started and their severity.
Whether you take iron pills or injections with or without vitamin C supplements vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from food. If so, your doctor may ask how much iron you take. This information can help him or her diagnose secondary hemochromatosis. Whether other members of your family have hemochromatosis. Whether other members of your family have a history of medical problems or diseases related to hemochromatosis. Physical Exam Your doctor will do a physical exam to check for signs and symptoms of hemochromatosis.
Diagnostic Tests and Procedures Your doctor may recommend one or more tests or procedures to diagnose hemochromatosis. Blood Tests In hemochromatosis, the amount of iron in your body may be too high, even though the level of iron in your blood is normal. Liver Biopsy During a liver biopsy, your doctor numbs an area near your liver and then removes a small sample of liver tissue using a needle. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Magnetic resonance imaging MRI is a safe test that uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create pictures of your organs.
Superconducting Quantum Interference Device A superconducting quantum interference device SQuID is a machine that uses very sensitive magnets to measure the amount of iron in your liver.
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