What are the symptoms? Common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, upper right abdominal pain, impotence or loss of sex drive, and lack of menstruation. While symptoms generally occur in men between ages 30-50, women typically exhibit symptoms later in life - often after menopause. Be aware that some people never exhibit symptoms. The disorder can be controlled by removing a pint of blood several times each year, which helps reduce iron to normal levels.
What does the test include?
Who should be tested? If an immediate relative is known to have hemochromatosis, strongly consider taking the test to determine if you inherited one or both of the common gene mutations. Additionally, consider testing if you are a Caucasian male of Northern European descent and are experiencing one or more of the symptoms noted above. That's because hemochromatosis is less prevalent in other ethnic groups, and men are more likely than women to have the disorder. Early detection and treatment can help you avoid serious medical complications.
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