Auckland Gastroenterology Associates
Haemochromatosis is an hereditary condition in which excess iron is absorbed from the intestinal tract. This iron accumulates in tissues throughout the body including the liver, pancreas, heart and joints and can lead to symptoms and signs including joint pains, skin pigmentation, liver damage, heart failure, diabetes and sexual dysfunction. It is important to diagnose this condition as early treatment can help prevent complications. Tests include blood tests showing increased iron levels. Treatment consists of the removal of excessive iron from the body by repeated removal of a fixed amount of blood (therapeutic phlebotomy). This is very like repeated blood donations and is carried out at the blood donor centre. For further information see the Gastroenterological Society of Australia website.