Genetic hemochromatosis (HG) is a disease caused by a chronic iron overload of all organs (skin, liver, pancreas, heart ...). It is a chronic, hereditary disease affecting about 200, 000 people in France and 2, 200, 000 in Europe.
In France, hemochromatosis affects 1 in 300 people, but many cases are not yet known because it is a difficult diagnostic disease.
Fortunately, not all carriers of this genetic abnormality will have a serious illness.However, if we do not make a diagnosis at 20-35 years, we may not know the disease until old age (50-70 years) when its complications have already appeared.
How is a genetic disease transmitted?
There are more than 6, 000 listed genetic diseases. What is a genetic disease and how can it be transmitted?
There is currently no systematic screening for this genetic disease. The only screening allowed in France is family: if there is a case of hemochromatosis in a family, it is advisable to look for the presence of this disease in other family members.
However, family screening (reimbursed by the Social Security under certain conditions) is unfortunately quite difficult to put into practice, because often families are scattered, disunited. This makes it possible to detect the disease only in 25% of cases.
This is why the Association Hemochromatose France offers systematic screening in any individual between 20 and 35 years. The National Hemochromatosis Week, organized each year by the Association Hemochromatose France aims to raise awareness of the general public about the importance of early detection of this disease too often unrecognized.The hemochromatosis disease is very painful, disabling, and is causing many deaths.
To find out if one is suffering from hemochromatosis or not, one must ask one's doctor to dose, in the blood:
- ferritin and ...
- the saturation factor of transferrin.
Read also :
> When ferritin varies
> Foods rich in iron
> Iron deficiency anemia; what's this ?
> Lack of iron: the consequences