Imagine yourself living with a medical condition that restricts you from eating certain foods that are rich in iron and foods that increase the absorption of iron. While it is impossible to completely avoid iron in your diet, even moderate amounts can be fatal in the long run, because your body absorbs more iron from the food that you eat than most people.
For many years, hemochromatosis has been a mystery to medicine, and scientists all over the world have investigated the causes and symptoms of this hereditary disorder, and identified its precise location in the chromosomes.
Hemochromatosis has been nicknamed “Bronze diabetes”, because it may be accompanied by diabetes mellitus and increased skin pigmentation (darkening …show more content…
Bronze Diabetes: increased skin pigmentation in the case of hemochromatosis accompanied by diabetes mellitus. (www.thinglink.com)
Iron is essential for cellular growth and the transport of oxygen. Hemochromatosis, which is characterized by the over-absorption and build-up of iron in the body, can provide the basic understanding of the biochemistry of iron regulation.
What would happen if iron regulation goes the wrong way? This paper will take a closer look at the inheritance of hemochromatosis, gene mutations, causes of hemochromatosis, iron regulation, current treatments, diagnosis, and genetic screening/tests.
B. Overview of Symptoms
Hemochromatosis is an inherited metabolic disorder, which is prevalent in Caucasian adults, that causes an over-absorption of iron in the body and various organs, especially the liver (Bliss, 2005).
Iron-build up mainly affects the liver (figure 2). This causes liver disease, such as liver failure, scarring of the liver, and liver cancer. Furthermore, Hemochromatosis affects reproductive organs. It causes erectile dysfunction, decreased sex-drive, early menopause, and absence of/irregular menstrual cycle. Iron build up is absorbed by the skin, which makes it appear grayish-bronze (Beegel,