Haemochromatosis

Haemochromatosis is an iron overload disorder in which the body simply absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Excess iron is stored in your organs, especially your liver, heart and pancreas. Too much iron can cause liver disease, heart problems and diabetes and may be fatal. Haemochromatosis is a genetic disorder. 1 in 200 Australians with European ancestry inherit the genes that cause the condition. This short video explains what it is and what you can do if you’ve been diagnosed with this genetic disorder.

Source: Haemochromatosis Australia

Symptoms of Haemochromatosis

Some people with the condition never develop symptoms. Early signs may be:
– Joint pain
– Abdominal pain
– Fatigue and Weakness

Later signs may be:
– Diabetes
– Loss of sex drive
– Impotence
– Heart failure
– Liver cirrhosis and failure

Although haemochromatosis is genetic and thus present at birth, most people don’t experience symptoms until later in life. Usually men have signs between the ages 50 and 60 and women after age 60. Liver cancer may happen if a patient is not treated.


Make an appointment

To make an appointment or to request more information, talk to our consultants at Hernia & Gallbladder Centre WA: (08) 6163 2800


Effects on Organs

Iron plays an essential role in several body functions but too much iron is toxic. When you have hemochromatosis your liver will store parts of the excess iron. Over a period of years the stored iron can cause damage that may lead to liver failure.

Haemochromatosis: Diagnosis

Your doctor will order two blood tests if your symptoms may indicate hemochromatosis or if a family member has been diagnosed. These blood tests measure Transferrin Saturation and Serum Ferritin. If the results of these tests are above the normal range, they will be repeated. If the second test exceeds the norm again, a genetic test will be ordered.

If you have a family member with Haemochromatosis, we recommend to get in touch. Contact the Liver Centre WA (08 6163 2800) to make an appointment.

Make an Appointment


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Contact

  • (08) 6163 2800

We’re located at
McCourt Street Medical Centre
1st Floor, Suite 10, 2 McCourt Street
West Leederville WA 6007

We also operate from
SJOG Murdoch Medical Clinic

1st Floor, Suite 13, 100 Murdoch Dive
Murdoch WA 6150
Northam Hospital Health Service
Outpatients Clinic, Robinson Street
Northam WA 6401

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Resources

There are many online resources. We have collected some useful links for you.

Haemochromatosis on Wikipedia
Hepatitis on The Liver Centre WA website
Other links on this website:
Hep C
Fatty liver disease
Cirrhosis
Liver Disease