Save Lives! Defeat Hereditary Hemochromatosis

by Stephen Cobb on July 5, 2010

Fight Celtic CurseHereditary hemochromatosis, it’s what killed Hemingway! Hemochromatosis is the most common genetic killer in America, particularly prevalent in people of Celtic origin, but you don’t have to be Irish to be a victim of this widely under-diagnosed condition which causes crippling disabilities such as: …continued…

Hemopause Illustrated: a different view of menopause and iron overload

October 25, 2019

I decided to make a diagram to illustrate the concept of hemopause, the tendency of doctors not to recognize the symptoms of a potentially fatal condition known as iron overload –  caused by hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) – in menopausal women. Hopefully, this diagram will help more people visualize the problem that I have described in articles like Menopause […]

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Menopause or Hemopause? The biological irony of a medical misdiagnosis

October 17, 2019
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My name is Stephen Cobb. I’m a man in his sixties with a message about menopause; actually, two messages, one general, the other specific. The general message is that menopause needs to be talked about a lot more than it is, by women and men, young and old. Why? Because society is riddled with ignorance and misperceptions about what […]

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Deadly bacteria alert: why beachgoers need to know their iron levels

July 5, 2019
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Should you be worried about the upsurge in reports of deadly bacteria associated with seawater? For me, the answer is: Yes! You might think headlines like this are alarmist – ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria: Know the Basic Science Before Going to the Beach – but there is a real health threat here, one that gets worse when ocean waters and […]

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Menopause + Hemochromatosis = Hemopause (and women of a certain age are at risk)

February 25, 2018

For women entering menopause, hereditary hemochromatosis can be damaging and even deadly. There’s a word for it: hemopause. Let’s raise awareness of both menopause and hemochromatosis, because the latter is making the former a matter of life and death for too many women.

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The little bit of Irish DNA that could kill you: saving lives this St. Patrick’s Day

March 14, 2017
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St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, a time to celebrate all things Irish, with a few notable exceptions! Consider C282Y and H63D. You’ve probably never heard of them, but these are two genetic mutations that are shockingly common in people of Irish ancestry. They can produce a potentially deadly condition known as iron overload and they […]

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HR 1313: life-threatening law targets Americans with genetic defects

March 11, 2017

[Updated on May 6, 2017: in the interests of objectivity and avoiding allegations of peddling fake news I am providing this link to the Snopes article on HR1313 that points out the bill does not technically require employees to share their family’s genetic data with their employer. However, as I wrote to Snopes: HR1313 could […]

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Hemingway’s Death and Hemochromatosis Awareness

January 10, 2016
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Ernest Hemingway died from hereditary hemochromatosis on July 2, 1961, exactly 50 years ago today. You might have read that Hemingway died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but hereditary hemochromatosis–also known as HHC, iron overload, bronze diabetes and Celtic Curse–was undoubtedly the underlying cause of his death. Quite by coincidence, July is Hemochromatosis Awareness Month in America, time to raise awareness of the most common genetic killer in America.

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Blood Variance and Hemochromatosis: Iron News from the Iron Disorders Institute

September 2, 2015
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This is just a quick post to remind folks that the Iron Disorders Institute (IDI) has a ton of information about hereditary hemochromatosis. You will find a lot of useful documents in the library on the IDI website. You can also get their monthly newsletter via email. Here’s a link to the latest issue in […]

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HFE testing: an open letter to the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics

July 19, 2015
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Dear American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics: According to a recent article on GenomeWeb your organization, the ACMG has declared that: “HFE testing shouldn’t be ordered for patients who don’t have iron overload or a family history of HFE-related hereditary hemochromatosis.” Frankly, this is some of the worst medical advice I’ve ever seen published, it […]

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Hacking hemochromatosis: how to get your HFE gene status via 23andMe (C282Y, H63D, and S65C)

September 21, 2014
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For people concerned about hereditary hemochromatosis we have put together instructions on using 23andMe to determine your HFE gene status from raw DNA data that the $99 genetic testing service provides to new and existing customers.

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Introducing Hemo-Doc-Stars: doctors who ‘get’ hemochromatosis

July 26, 2014
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To mark Hemochromatosis Awareness Month this July, 2014, we asked visitors to the Fighting Hemochromatosis page on Facebook to let us know if they had encountered a GOOD hemochromatosis doctor. Why? Doctors who ‘get’ hemochromatosis are hard to find, even though hereditary hemochromatosis is the most common genetic killer in America today. We were pleasantly surprised […]

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Death by Ignorance: Millions of Americans at risk from hemochromatosis, but few doctors know much about it

June 28, 2014
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Ignorance of hemochromatosis kills countless thousands of Americans every year. Some 13 million are at risk, yet most have never heard of it. Untreated hemochromatosis can cause toxic levels of iron in your body and lead to liver cancer, cardiomyopathy, and diabetes, to name but a few of the deadly complications of this easily-treated inherited condition.

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