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…

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

March 14, 2017
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This Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, a time to celebrate all things Irish, with a few notable exceptions, such as C282Y and H63D. These are genetic mutations that can produce a potentially deadly condition known as iron overload, and they are more prevalent in Ireland than anywhere else in the world. One can be proud of having […]

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

March 11, 2017

I must begin this article by saying I CANNOT BELIEVE this article has to be written, but it does. The Trump administration is moving forward with legislation to slap stiff financial penalties on Americans who refuse to share their genetic data with their employer. I will let that sink in for a minute, because sadly this is […]

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

September 29, 2014

For women entering menopause, hereditary hemochromatosis can be damaging and even deadly. We call 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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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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New St Patrick’s Day Tradition: Ferritin Checks Save Lives!

March 16, 2014

Here is a modest proposal to save lives on St. Patrick’s Day: Get your ferritin checked! This is a simple blood test to let you know how your body is handling iron. If your ferritin is “high” then your body may be loading iron, which can cause serious damage to joints, liver, heart, brain, and […]

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10 things to know about ports, the ones for blood not ships

February 10, 2014

10 points about “ports” that are installed in patients who need to endure a lot of blood drawing due to excess iron from hereditary hemochromatosis or HH. Frequent therapeutic phlebotomy can be hell on your veins and a port might be the way to go.






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Hemochromatosis tall tales and the HFE gene

September 3, 2013
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The effect of HFE hemochromatosis on human height is considered in a recent study, and it adds to other selection factors that could have led to the spread of this mutation over thousands of years.






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