Hemochromatosis is a condition that causes an overproduction of iron in the body. Over time, the accumulated iron can cause damage to the joints, organs, and other parts of the body. If left untreated, hemochromatosis can even be fatal. Because the body cannot get rid of excess iron, it is important to receive medical treatment. Moreover, affected individuals absorb up to four time more iron than healthy people, making the condition even more dangerous. Find out the top 10 symptoms of hemochromatosis.
1. Joint Pain
Joint pain can be extremely debilitating and painful. Hemochromatosis is notorious for its pernicious effects on joint health. The joints of the hands, hips, knees and ankles are the most likely to be affected, even though other areas can also be affected. Because the iron levels in the blood grow without control, they build up over time in the joints, causing them to deteriorate gradually. If left untreated, the damage may be irreversible. It might help to perform daily stretching exercises to improve joint motion. Another option is to take over-the-counter medication to reduce pain.
2. Abdominal Pain
One of the most debilitating symptoms of hemochromatosis is abdominal pain. This symptom will usually appear at the early stages of the condition, and can often be felt in the upper abdomen. The accumulation of iron in the blood can cause pain in the muscles that control the abdomen. The pain can often last for a long time, and can be especially noticeable after eating. It may help to place a heating pad on the affected area. Rest is also recommended during moments of pain. If you feel constant pain in the abdomen, talk to your doctor about pain medication.
Fatigue is another common symptom that people with hemochromatosis tend to experience. Fatigue is defined as a chronic state of exhaustion that doesn’t go away with rest. Fatigue occurs because the buildup of iron affects the brain’s capacity to regulate sleep, making it more difficult to stick to your natural sleep rhythm. You may experience difficulty going to bed at night, and it may be excruciatingly difficult to get up in the mornings. Moreover, fatigue can affect the quality of your life. Prolonged periods of fatigue can increase your risk of developing depression as well as other mental issues.
As the amount of iron in the body increases, so does the weakness of your muscles. When there is too much iron present in the blood, the muscles become damaged over time, which may lead to increased weakness. This is reflected by the difficulty you might experience when trying to walk up a flight of stairs or carry a heavy bag of groceries home from the store. It is necessary to treat hemochromatosis in order to bring down the level of iron in the blood. Otherwise, the muscles of the body may become permanently damaged.
Hemochromatosis causes a buildup of iron in the body, most notably in the pancreas and liver. Because of this, the pancreas becomes damaged and is unable to correctly regulate blood sugar levels. Over time, this may contribute to the development of diabetes and other conditions. If you suspect that you might have diabetes, look out for the associated symptoms such as weakness and frequent urination. If you have hemochromatosis, it is vital to begin treatment as soon as possible to reduce the buildup of iron in the blood. As always, a healthy lifestyle is instrumental in treating diabetes.
6. Erectile Dysfunction
Among the many causes of erectile dysfunction is hemochromatosis. This condition may lead to erectile dysfunction because your brain is no longer able to send signals to the muscles that allow for blood flow into the penis. It is important to note that penile dysfunction may be caused by a variety of other conditions, such as anxiety or depression. Physical causes, such as diabetes or hormonal problems, may also be to blame. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction as a result of hemochromatosis, talk to your doctor about possible solutions. It is important to avoid permanent damage to the penis.
One of the main symptoms of hemochromatosis is arrhythmia, or the irregular beating of the heart. This condition develops as a result of the buildup of iron in the blood and muscles, causing an irregular rhythm in the heart. Even though this symptom is not deadly, it can develop into a more severe condition over time. There are different types of arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation, which is the most common type. Supraventricular tachycardia is another type of arrhythmia. If you feel that your heartbeat isn’t consistent, consult your doctor to rule out other more serious conditions.
8. Heart Failure
If the arrhythmia developed by the patient becomes too severe, it can lead to heart failure. The good news is that this only appears in the later stages of hemochromatosis, meaning that if initial treatment is successful, the chances of developing heart failure reduce considerably. Another factor that must be kept in mind is that each individual will experience a different buildup of iron in the body. Some people suffer from excessive iron in the the liver, while other have excessive iron levels in the heart or pancreas. To check for heart failure, your doctor will schedule an MRI.
9. Liver Failure
One of the organs that is most likely to experience a dangerous buildup of iron in the liver. When iron levels become too high, life-threatening conditions may develop. Liver failure is just one of the many problems that are a consequence of excessive iron levels. The liver is one of the most important organs of the body because it filters the blood, removing chemicals and toxins. When liver function becomes impaired, the consequences can be deadly. If you experience symptoms of liver failure, such as jaundice, contact your doctor immediately to determine the cause.
10. Lack of Energy
People with hemochromatosis are likely to experience a lack of energy in their everyday lives. This constant feeling of being out of breath or tired has detrimental consequences for the health and wellbeing of hemochromatosis patients. Luckily, you can take supplements to improve energy levels and restore organ function. It is also crucial to lead a healthy lifestyle if you are diagnosed with hemochromatosis. By combining an adequate diet with a healthy amount of exercise, you can reduce the negative effects of the disease on your energy levels. Another important remedy is sleep, and plenty of it.