Misdiagnosis of Hemochromatosis
Undiagnosed Hemochromatosis: Because of its slow and insidious onset, hemochromatosis can remain undiagnosed for years or decades. A person may be diagnosed with one of the complications (e.g. Diabetes, Liver Disease/Hepatitis), before the underlying cause of Hemochromatosis is discovered.
Non-Hereditary Forms: Hereditary Hemochromatosis is not the only cause of iron overload. Some other possible reasons for high iron levels include:
Read more about: Iron Overload.
Undiagnosed Complications: There are many complications of Hemochromatosis that need to be diagnosed correctly.
- Skin discoloration (bronze skin color)
- Diabetes (pancreas damage). The disease usually appears similar to Type 2 Diabetes, but an insulin-deficient subtype, rather than the more common insulin-resistant type of Type 2 Diabetes.
- Liver damage (jaundice; liver cirrhosis). Mild liver damage may only be seen as abnormal liver function tests. More severe liver disease may cause jaundice, or more advanced symptoms of liver cirrhosis such as abdominal fluid accumulation.
- Pituitary gland damage. Often causing a decline in pituitary hormone. Symptoms appear such as male breast enlargement, male breast tenderness, and other symptoms. Read about: Pituitary Gland Disorders.
- Heart failure (heart damage). Possible symptoms include shortness of breath, edema (e.g. swelling in the ankles), and other symptoms of heart failure.
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