For years, Katherine Hughes, 27, suffered from a series of troublesome symptoms.
"I had stomach pains for no reason, and then when I entered the university I started to faint frequently, my hair fell, I had severe joint pains and I was tired all the time," she says.
"My mother thought it was all because of my hectic lifestyle."
After visiting the general practitioner, two blood tests to identify the iron level revealed that the girl had hereditary hereditary hereditary (HH), a condition that causes a large accumulation of iron in the body.
Most of us think that iron is a mineral shielding and we only worry about its scarcity.
— Little Knowledge —
There is little knowledge about the risks of accumulation of the compound and some of its symptoms, such as fatigue, can also be confused with other disorders.
"I was very fortunate to be diagnosed quickly, and many healthcare professionals believe itWomen e only show symptoms much later in life, Which can damage certain organs. "
"Last year I visited the hospital about 30 times, today I suffer from chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and pain in the joints of the knees, hands and elbows."
"The only treatment for this is phlebotomy, which they extract me A pint of blood Every few months. "
"I feel lucky because I was diagnosed when I was young, because it allows me to monitor my health, how many days I suffer from unbearable pain, other days I'm fine, but I need more awareness of this disorder," she says.
— What is Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HH) —
► It is a disorder that causes the accumulation of iron in
In the UK, about 250,000 people seem to be at risk for HH, although many have not been diagnosed.
The risk for women is greater than for men.
► The disease is caused by a defective gene. Northern Europe, especially those of Irish origin, is more likely to receive this gene.
Symptoms of HH include: fatigue, joint pain, skin problems and sexual health. If not treated, HH can cause serious diseases such as liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.
Treatment is relatively simple. It consists of a phlebotomy (blood extraction). When the body produces more blood to replace it removed, it uses excess stored iron.
Source: Hemochromatosis UK
— "The most common disorder you've never heard of" —
For a report recently published by the Hemochromatosis Relief Organization in the UK (HUK), 2,000 people with this disorder were interviewed worldwide.
It was found that 73% of patients had mental problems, 81% experienced fatigue, and 87% experienced arthritis or joint pain.
Although most of them were satisfied with the treatment of their specialists, she noted a third Because the information and support of their general practitioners were poor.
As the doctor points out Edward Fitzsimons, An expert on hemochromatosis at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, "Hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders among populations in northern Europe."
"However, this is a disease that easily escapes diagnosis, and eight out of 10 patients are undiagnosed."
"It's definitely one of the most common disorders you've never heard of."
— "I felt like a veteran complainant" —
Abigail Harvey, 19, was diagnosed with hemochromatosis at the age of 15.
Until then, she suffered from severe menstrual cramps and joint pain, in addition to depression. At the age of 14, she was hospitalized in an attempt to commit suicide.
"A charming therapist he saw suggested I had blood tests."
"I had severe pains all over my body and I felt like an old complainant, not like a young boy."
"Everyone around me thought I was anemic, But it turned out that he was suffering from excessive iron accumulation. "
"Many doctors I have seen asked me to explain my illness, why does she know so much about anemia but not about her diabolical cousin?"
Since this diagnosis, Abigail has been treated with plumage with limited success.
"I need to emphasize how important it is to ask your doctor Analyze the iron levels If you have these symptoms, "he says.
David Hade, CEO of HUK, says: "The history of Abigail's menstrual cycle problems, joint pain, mental health problems, late diagnosis and treatment difficulties are repeated with many patients."
"It is important to stress the importance of health professionals to be aware of iron retention as a deficiency and to perform due diligence when patients describe these problems," he says.
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