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:

  • liver cancer
  • diabetes
  • congestive heart failure
  • macular degeneration
  • osteoporosis

Not to mention: chronic joint pain, arrhythmia, hair loss, fatigue, infertility, impotence, and depression. In other words, you want to avoid this condition if possible, screen for it as early as is feasible, and treat as soon as possible.

We must spread the word

Although simple tests for hemochromatosis are available, too few doctors know when to order them, and if it is not detected early, the buildup of iron in the victim’s body caused by hemochromatosis can inflict serious damage on vital organs.

As a direct result of the lack of screening for, and awareness of, this insidious condition, each year many thousands of people are condemned to a life of pain, suffering, and disability. Fortunately, the three main weapons in the fight against Celtic Curse are not exotic.

  1. Detection of the condition: simple and not costly.
  2. Treatment of the condition: practically free (blood donation).
  3. Awareness and education: needs work.

#3 is what this site is all about, spreading the word. The more people know, the more lives will be saved, from premature death and needless suffering.

Hemingway, today, and beyond

Ernest Hemingway, victim of hemochromatosisAs for Hemingway, like too many hemochromatosis sufferers today, he was diagnosed too late to be saved. Today’s genetic tests, and inexpensive ferritin tests, can make diagnosis and treatment simple. But only IF you meet a doctor who is properly informed about the condition. Sadly, too many are not.

A study by America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, on average, it took 9.5 years from symptom onset for a patient to be diagnosed with hemochromatosis (PDF). That is enough time to kill or cripple a person whose body is rapidly loading excess iron.

For more on Hemingway’s hemochromatosis see these articles:

For a list of doctors, in America and other countries, that have been recommended by hemochromatosis sufferers, download this list in PDF format: HEMO-DOC-STARS

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