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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can haemochromatosis affect the body?

    How does it affect bodily function?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 9

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    Dr Michael Swan

    Gastroenterologist

    Michael Swan is a Gastroenterologist specialising in endoscopy, pancreaticobiliary disease and gastrointestinal cancer screening. Michael trained in clinical endoscopy with leaders in the field both … View Profile

    Haemochromatosis is a build-up or acculmulation of iron within the body beyond the normal storage limits. There are a number of ways that iron can buildup within the body, however the reason for the effects on the body is due to the iron being deposited in various oragns and tissues throughout the body.
    These include
    1. Liver : iron builds up within the liver which can eventually cause fibrosis or cirrhosis of the liver. In the early stages often only liver function tests (LFTs) abnormalities are the only noticable affects on the liver. After years of iron build-up within the liver, fibrosis and scarring of the liver can occur eventually causing liver failure. The acculmulation in iron within the liver is also a risk factor for liver cancer (hepatocellular cancer)
    2. Skin : iron builds up causing an orange tint (similar to a fake tan) to the skin
    3. Joints : arthritis (damage, inflammation and joint deformity)
    4. Heart : iron can build up within the heart muscles causing the heart function to decline (cardiomyopathy). Alternatively it can affect the electrical wiring of the heart causing arrythymias
    5. Pancreas : acculmulation of iron within the pancreas can lead to diabetes
    6. Pituitary gland : acculmulation within this gland located at the base of the brain can lead to reduced “sex” hormones, in particular low testosterone in men. 

    All the above affects can be prevented by early detection and removal of the iron of the body .
    Some effects can be reduced once already developed by also reducing the iron storage levels within the body. 

  • 1

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    Anonymous

    Can u please help me find out what would make a person smell like sewage every once in awhile.. upper abdomen swelling.. orange color a lil i think.. and costantly tired.. certain foods make me wanna pass out.. shakey and jittery.. also dizzy .. 

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