Hemochromatosis is an inherited condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron from foods.
Hemochromatosis is a condition that is present at birth (congenital), but is typically not diagnosed until later in life – generally around age 50 or 60. Hemochromatosis is, however, sometimes diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 30. This is known as juvenile hemochromatosis.
In a person with this condition, the body absorbs too much iron from foods. In turn, that extra iron is stored in the organs, including the liver, heart and pancreas. Extra iron in these organs can cause serious problems, such as liver disease, heart problems and diabetes [Link to Diabetes page].
Hemochromatosis is hereditary (passed down in families) through a mutated gene.
Signs and symptoms that may appear early on in children with this condition include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Pain in the joints
Signs and symptoms that can appear later include: