For years, 27 years, Katherine Hough has suffered many disturbing symptoms.
"I did not have stomach pain for no reason, then when I entered college, I often started making hair, my hair looked heavy, my aching joints painful, and I was constantly tired," he says.
"My mom thought it was because of my hectic student lifestyle."
After a practitioner's visit, two blood tests for detecting iron levels revealed that the girl suffered from hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), a disorder that causes Iron accumulates too much in the body.
Most of us think that iron is a fortification mineral and we care about its deficiency.
There is little knowledge of the risks of compound accumulation and some of its symptoms, such as fatigue, may also be confused with other disorders.
"I was very lucky to have diagnosed me quickly." Many medical professionals believe this women show symptoms much later in life, which may potentially lead to damage to some organs. "
"Last year, I visited the hospital about 30 times, today I suffer from chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and joint pain in knees, hands and elbows."
"The only treatment is phlebotomy, in which they extract me half a liter of blood every few months. "
"I'm lucky because I was diagnosed when I was young, because it allows me to monitor my health, I suffer some unbearable pain for some days, I'm fine for the next few days, but I need to know more about the disorder," he says.
What is hereditary hemochromatosis (HH)
- It is a disorder that causes the accumulation of iron in the body.
- In the UK, he believes that around 250,000 people are at risk of HH, although many have not been diagnosed.
- The risk is greater for women than for men.
- The disease is caused by a defective gene. Northern Europeans, especially those of Irish descent, are more likely to have this gene.
- Symptoms of HH include: fatigue, joint pain, skin problems and sexual health. If not treated, HH can cause serious illnesses such as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
- Treatment is relatively simple. It consists of phlebotomy (blood extraction). Because the body produces more blood to replace the body that has been removed, it uses excess stored iron.
Source: Hemochromatosis UK
"The most common disorder you've never heard of"
Around 2,000 people with this disorder have been interviewed worldwide for a recent Hemochromatosis UK (HUK) report.
It was found that 73% of patients suffer from psychological difficulties, 81% have fatigue, and 87% have experience with arthritis or joint pain.
Although most were satisfied with the treatment of their specialists, the third said that the information and support of their GPs are bad.
As the doctor points out Edward Fitzsimons, a specialist in hemochromatosis at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, "hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders among populations in northern Europe."
"It's a disease that escapes diagnosis, eight out of 10 patients are not diagnosed."
"It is certainly one of the most common diseases you have never heard of."
"I felt like the old complainant"
Abigail Harvey, 19, was diagnosed with hemochromatosis when she was only 15 years old.
Until then, she had, in addition to depression, severe seizures in menstruation and joint pain. At the age of 14 she was admitted to the hospital for a suicide attempt.
"The beautiful therapist he saw suggested that I had blood tests."
"I had heavy pains all over my body and I felt like an old complainant, not as a young teenager."
"Everyone around me thought I was anemic, but it has been shown to have suffered from excessive accumulation of iron. "
"Many doctors I've seen asked me to explain my illness, why is so much known about anemia, but not about my devilish cousin?"
Since his diagnosis, Abigail has been treated with phlebotomy with limited success.
"I have to emphasize how important it is to ask your doctor analyze iron levels if you have these symptoms, "he says.
David Head, CEO of HUK, says: "Abigail's history of menstrual problems, joint pain, mental health problems, delayed diagnosis and treatment misery are repeated in many patients."
"It is important to emphasize the importance of health professionals who are aware of the accumulation of iron as a deficiency and to carry out reasonable tests when patients describe these problems," he says.
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