What is it?
Haemochromatosis causes the body to absorb too much iron from food. The condition is genetic, which means it is passed from parent to child. Some people with haemochromatosis will develop problems, while others won’t.
Haemochromatosis can lead to heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. However, treatment is simple.
What will my GP do?
Your GP will monitor your iron levels. If they are high, your GP may need to arrange for you to receive venesection. Venesection is removing a safe amount of blood to reduce the amount of iron in your body.
Your GP may also:
- Schedule regular check-ups to review your treatment
- Teach you about healthy lifestyle strategies and how to reduce your iron intake
- Screen your relatives for haemochromatosis
- Refer you to a specialist if you need more support
What can I do?
Continue to see your GP regularly. Follow your treatment plan. Talk to your GP about a specialist referral if you feel like your symptoms aren’t improving. Avoid:
- Iron supplements – these may increase your iron levels
- Vitamin C supplements – may increase the amount of iron your body absorbs
- Alcohol – excessive alcohol use makes it harder for your GP to check your iron levels and may lead to unnecessary treatment