What Is Hemochromatosis?
A genetic disorder, hemochromatosis is a condition in which the body renders and stores too much iron. Typically, the hereditary issue causes the body to absorb too much iron from the food an individual eats, which leads to excess iron stores in the organs, particularly the liver, heart and pancreas. As the iron stores increase, life-threatening conditions may arise including cancer, heart arrhythmias and cirrhosis of the liver.
While some individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis never experience symptoms, several of the signs and symptoms associated with the condition mimic those of other common health conditions. Symptoms typically include joint pain, fatigue and overall weakness. Generally speaking, hemochromatosis is more likely to be serious in men. As such, the typical first sign of the disease in males involves organ damage including joint pain, diabetes, loss of sex drive, impotence and heart failure.
The actual cause of hemochromatosis is a genetic mutation that affects the body’s absorption of iron. As such, the condition is genetic and passed from parents to children. The mutated gene that is typically involved in the development of hemochromatosis is labeled HFE, and the common mutations are C282Y and H63D. An individual must inherit two of the abnormal genes, one from the mother and one from the father, to develop the disorder.
Natural Hemochromatosis Remedies
One of the most effective ways to maintain appropriate iron levels is to periodically donate blood. Typically donations can be made every eight weeks. Herbal treatment options are also effective. Dandelion, wild hyssop and milk thistle supplements help regulate the body’s systems and minimize iron storage. Calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese and black tea are also effective treatment options. Additionally, individuals affected by hemochromatosis should avoid vitamin C supplements and drink green tea, as it is a powerful chelator that works to remove iron from the body.