Updated on 6/4/09
The clinical symptoms of hemochromatosis usually appear after significant iron accumulation—generally after the age of 40. Symptoms appear earlier in males than in females due to the loss of iron through menstruation in women.
Many patients with hemochromatosis have no symptoms at all and are diagnosed only as a result of family screening or after blood tests suggest increased iron in their organs.
Early signs of the disease can include:
There are many conditions associated with hemochromatosis:
Most of the outward signs of hemochromatosis are the result of iron deposition in the organs. Exceptions include the bronze color of a patient's skin—which is due to increased melanin deposition—and arthritis, which results from the accumulation of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints, or pseudo-gout.
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