What Does This Have To Do With The Subject?
There was a time when diabetes was considered to be the most common cause of death among hemochromatotics, but since the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best, a liver tumour known as a “hepatoma” tops the list. Whatever the cause, serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis can cause a number of complications, including esophageal varices. Abnormally enlarged veins in the lower part of the esophagus can occur in 50% of patients with cirrhosis. It is when the root cause happens to be iron overload — as is the case with a dear and valued friend, at this moment — that I cannot help waving the banner once more! A fervent teetotaller, he has abstained from alcohol throughout his adult life, but what else is new? The initial pronouncement after diagnosis of liver cirrhosis, was “cause of varices: alcoholism”!
Signs of Hemochromatosis, The Insidious Killer
Diabetes, arthritis, a tan which never fades (even where the 'sun don't shine!'), chronic fatigue, abdominal pain, impotence, diminished libido, premature menopause, arrhythmia, cirrhosis of the liver — all can be the result of too much iron.
Hemochromatosis is also frequently misdiagnosed as chronic hepatitis, gall bladder and thyroid problems, polycythemia, and iron deficiency. As some sufferers exhibit pronounced mood swings and other personality changes such as severe depression, anger, confusion or diminished memory, they can be incorrectly treated for mental illness. In some cases Alzheimer’s has been suspected.
Only the correct tests will provide proof. A complete "iron study" to obtain the transferrin saturation percentage as well as the ferritin level is necessary, for hemoglobin is normal in hemochromatosis. If you have any of the above symptoms and your physician will not test you, find one who will. No one needs to suffer the ravages of hemochromatosis. While it is the most common genetic disease of all, it is the only one which is treatable, and also the only one of which all the suffering is preventable.