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Diagnosis Mistakes » Rare undiagnosed iron disorder causes various severe conditions
 

Rare undiagnosed iron disorder causes various severe conditions

The rare "iron overload" disorder, hemochromatosis, can cause a variety of symptoms and result in various severe conditions that mimic several of the big name medical conditions. However, since it is quite rare (about 1 in 200 to 1 in 300), it may go undiagnosed, and indeed doctors may not even test for it. It can damage the pancreas, causing pancreatitis, leading to diabetes-like symptoms. It can damage the liver, leading to liver symptoms such as jaundice. Hemochromoatis can also damage the joints, giving the appearance of arthritis. The heart is another organ that excess iron can damage. Fortunately, this condition has a relatively simple treatment, and these complications can often be reversed by treatment of the iron overload causing them. See introduction to hemochromatosis.

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