This week (1-7 June 2020) is World Haemochromatosis Week. Many people may not have heard of haemochromatosis, but it is important for all of us to be aware of Australia’s most common genetic disorder.
Some facts about haemochromatosis:
- 1 in 200 Australians of European origin carry the genetic risk for haemochromatosis.
- The condition is also known as ‘inherited iron overload disorder’ and causes your body to store too much iron.
- Initial symptoms can include muscle pain and fatigue.
- If left untreated, it can lead to more serious symptoms including organ failure!
- Your iron levels and the genetic risk for haemochromatosis can both be checked by a simple blood test.
- Haemochromatosis is treated by venesection (bloodletting) and the blood from therapeutic venesection can be donated subject to Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s usual safety requirements.
This last dot point is timely with the approach of World Blood Donor Day on Sunday, 14 June.
Further information about haemchromatosis is available at Haemochromatosis Australia’s website http://haemochromatosis.org.au
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