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Hemochromatosis

Prognosis With Hemochromatosis

The earlier hemochromatosis is detected and treated, the better. If treatment begins before any organs are damaged, associated conditions -- such as liver disease, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes -- can often be prevented.
 
The outlook for people who already have these conditions at diagnosis depends on the degree of organ damage. For example, treatment for hemochromatosis can stop the progression of liver disease in its early stages, which means a normal life expectancy. However, if cirrhosis has developed, the person's risk of developing liver cancer increases, even if iron stores are reduced to normal levels. Appropriate regular follow-up with a specialist is necessary.
 

Living With Hemochromatosis

There is a lot you can do to make your life as healthy as possible while living with hemochromatosis:
 
  • Get check ups. Have the amount of iron in your blood tested regularly.
     
  • Get your blood removed. Make sure to get phlebotomies when you need them.
     
  • Watch the food you eat. Don't eat raw fish or raw shellfish.
     
  • Limit your alcohol intake. If you choose to drink alcohol, drink only a little. Women should have no more than one drink a day. Men should have no more than two a day. But if you have liver damage, do not drink any alcohol.
     
  • Don't take iron pills. Don't take iron pills, supplements, or multivitamin supplements that have iron in them. Eating foods that contain iron, however, is fine.
     
  • Watch your vitamin C intake. Vitamin C increases the amount of iron your body absorbs. So don't take pills with more than 500 mg of vitamin C per day. Eating foods with vitamin C is fine.
     
  • Exercise. You can exercise as much as you want. Try to get 30 minutes of exercise every day to stay fit and healthy.
     

Hemochromatosis Disease

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