Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Last of the Education-Part 3

 The following information comes from the Mayo Clinic website unless specified; see references entry for the links.

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is the most common genetic condition in the world.  One in 9 people is a carrier (Hemochromatosis: Introduction , n.d.).  It  is a condition where the body absorbs too much iron.  This excess iron is stored mainly in the liver, pancreas, and heart.  Because of this, it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, cirrhosis, and cancer among other things.  Before the age of 50, men exhibit symptoms more often than women and frequently they do not show any symptoms other than joint pain or fatigue.

According to the site, the Lycan should not have HH because he is classified only as a carrier having the one genotype, but that seems to not be the case as he has all the other indications.  There could be the argument that what he has is secondary hemochromatosis, but then we would need to investigate which other chronic disease he has.   Because of all this, I will need to be tested in the future to determine if our boys are at risk.  If I am a carrier as well, then the chances they will develop it are fairly high.

There are a few things that increase a person’s risk for developing this.  Having two copies of a mutated gene, having a first-degree relative with it, being a male, and being of northern European descent. 

The treatment is so very simple (and free!), he just has to have blood removed until his iron levels are normal.  This is done just like giving blood for donation, only more often at first.  Once the levels are normal, then he will only have to have it done every so often to maintain.  There are even some blood centers that have permission to take the blood for use in patients.  The blood is safe for others to use.  If for some reason he ever becomes unable to have that amount of blood removed, there is a treatment.

The Lycan’s diet is going to change …no alcohol whatsoever, no red meat or organ meats, no raw shellfish (cooked is okay), and no supplements that contain iron or vitamin C as that increases the absorption. He can drink tea because the tannins in the tea slow the rate of absorption.  I am sure that there is more, but we have not  consulted a dietician yet. 

So, that is hemochromatosis in a nutshell.  I am sure this has all been very fascinating for y’all and if you read the entire saga I appreciate it. 

We will be back to our normal programming in the near future, so stay tuned. 

Hemochromatosis. (2012). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic:
Hemochromatosis: Introduction . (n.d.). Johns Hopkins Medicine- Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  Retrieved from:


  1. Yes, he is set up to have one the first of March. He is not looking forward to it though. LOL