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Hemochromatosis Screening and Awareness Month


Jemochromatosis is an iron storage disorder that can cause the body to absorb too much iron from foods and other sources, such as multivitamin supplements with iron. This extra iron can gradually build up in the body’s tissues and organs, particularly in the liver cells, heart, pancreas, joints, and pituitary gland. If left untreated, this iron buildup may lead to tissue and organ damage over time. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine genetic screening for hereditary hemochromatosis in the asymptomatic general population, but states that individuals with a family member, especially a sibling, who is known to have hereditary hemochromatosis should be counseled regarding genetic testing. Knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor understand your risk for hemochromatosis. It is helpful to talk with your family members about their health history, write this information down, update it from time to time, and share it with your doctor. Family health history information can help your doctor determine which tests and screenings are recommended to help you know your health risk.

Information provided by cdc.org