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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes your body to store too much iron. Extra iron builds up in your heart, liver, and joints.
You may need medicines for other health conditions caused by hemochromatosis. Take your medicines as directed. Contact your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or specialist as directed:
You may need to return regularly to have your iron checked or your blood drawn. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your symptoms:
- Eat less red meat: Red meat contains iron. Ask your primary healthcare provider how much red meat is safe for you to eat each day.
- Do not take iron supplements: Read labels. Do not take vitamins or supplements with iron in them.
- Limit vitamin C: Vitamin C increases the amount of iron you get from the foods you eat. Ask your primary healthcare provider if you need to avoid foods and supplements that are rich in vitamin C.
- Do not drink alcohol: Alcohol increases iron absorption and increases your risk of liver damage.
- Avoid raw seafood: Do not eat or touch raw seafood. You are more likely to get an infection from these foods.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or specialist if:
- Your symptoms return or get worse.
- You have a fever.
- You have a cough, or feel weak and achy.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have severe abdominal pain.
- You have pain in your chest, back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
- You are suddenly short of breath.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.