Diagnosis

Articles about diagnosing hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC).

Here is one of the great ironies of Celtic Curse: It is hard to diagnose but easy to test. A simple and inexpensive ($7) blood test will tell your doctor if you have too much iron in your system. A simple and relatively inexpensive ($199) genetic test will tell you if you have the genetic defect that causes hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC).

Unfortunately, health insurance companies in America often require a reason to perform this particular blood test or set of tests, reasons such as the patient already exhibiting symptoms (see Symptoms). Sadly, many doctors do not think of hemochromatosis when they see  those symptoms and therefore they don’t order the blood tests. Fortunately, the genetic test is something you can order yourself, without a prescription.

Should you push your doctor for blood tests to find out your iron levels? Should you push your doctor for a genetic test or simply buy one yourself? The answers depend on several factors, including risk factors. The most obvious risk factors are your family medical history. The good news here is that you may be able to develop a family strategy around testing, one that could spread the costs because several people can benefit from one test.

That topic and more will be addressed on this page.

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

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 […]

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

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.

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

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.

Could Randy Travis be suffering from hereditary hemochromatosis?

The widely reported health problems of singer and actor Randy Travis may serve to draw attention to the connection between iron overload cardiomyopathy (IOC) and hereditary hemochromatosis (HH). PLEASE NOTE: This article does not say Randy Travis has hemochromatosis.

Haemochromatosis testing questions: serum iron, ferritin, genes, scales and other basic info

Basic questions about testing for haemochromatosis (hemochromatosis) answered, plus suggestions those worried they may have the genetic form of the condition, as well as healthy individuals who want to be proactive.

American College of Clinical Pathologists (ACCP) backs hemochromatosis test for all by 25

Correction: We recently reported that a respected group of physicians backs universal testing for hemochromatosis. It seems there may have been some errors in that report because the best reference to universal hemochromatosis testing that I have been able to locate is at the CAP, the College of American Pathologists, not the American Society of Clinical […]

The Original Hemo-pause Post: What women of a certain age should know about HH

Back at the beginning of September, 2010, I found out that September was Menopause Awareness Month. This rang a bell, and not just because I had recently written several articles related to Hemochromatosis Awareness Month, which is July. I had also been monitoring traffic on the hemochromatosis page on Facebook and noticing a trend, something […]

National Menopause Awareness Month + Hemochromatosis = $50 off 23andMe gene test

September is National Menopause Awareness Month and what better way to mark the occasion than getting your genes checked for hereditary hemochromatosis. Why? Because menopause ends the monthly blood loss that can mask the most common deadly genetic condition in America: hereditary hemochromatosis (also called iron overload, Celtic Curse, bronze diabetes, or HH and HHC […]

Menopause or Hemo-pause? What women of a certain age need to know about HHC

September is Menopause Awareness Month. Regular readers of CelticCurse.org will know that July was Hemochromatosis awareness month. So why is this website–devoted to raising awareness of Celtic Curse or hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC)–talking about menopause? The answer is: hemo-pause. What is hemo-pause? It’s a term we coined for a syndrome which afflicts women entering menopause with […]

Difficulty Getting a Diagnosis of Hemochromatosis (and other damage done)

Back when I was writing about hemochromatosis on my personal blog I got a lot of questions about diagnosis. I thought I would share how I tried to answer them. For example, Stacey asked “How was your wife diagnosed?” Here is how I responded:

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