Symptoms

Articles about the symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC).

Unfortunately, as the Mayo Clinic entry on hemochromatosis states: “Early signs and symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis mimic those of many other common conditions, making it difficult to diagnose.” However, this does not mean that hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC) should be difficult to suspect. Consider the set of signs and symptoms described as “early-stage” by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Arthritis, especially in your hands
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Loss of sex drive (libido) or impotence
  • Lack of normal menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Abdominal pain
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism)
  • Abnormal liver function tests, even if no other symptoms are present
  • If you experience any of the above your doctor should at least consider HHC. If you have other obvious risk factors for HHC then you might want to insist that your doctor should rule it out. Why? Because if the cause of the above is HHC and it is not diagnosed, then you could be faced with these nastier “advanced-stage signs and symptoms” that are listed by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Cirrhosis — a condition marked by irreversible scarring of the liver
  • Liver failure
  • Liver cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Discolored skin that’s bronze or gray in appearance
  • There are several ways of testing for hemochromatosis and they cost a lot less than treating the above conditions. We will address these tests on the Diagnosis page. The rest of this page contains articles relating to hemochromatosis symptoms.

    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 […]

    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 […]

    Hemochromatosis Symptoms: What NOT to expect

    Describing the symptoms of hemochromatosis can be tricky. As we have noted elsewhere:  “Early signs and symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis mimic those of many other common conditions, making it difficult to diagnose.” (Mayo Clinic) Adding to the challenge is the fact that not everyone who has HHC exhibits every symptom of HHC. For example, the bronze […]

    View the Archives