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Hemochromatosis

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.

Abdominal Organs

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have pain in your chest, back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm.
  • You are suddenly short of breath.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe abdominal pain.

Call your doctor 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.

Medicines:

  • Medicines may be needed for other health conditions caused by hemochromatosis.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Manage hemochromatosis:

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about iron. Do not have foods or drinks that have added iron. Food sources that are naturally high in iron may be okay for you to have. Iron is found in red meat, such as beef, spinach, raisins, egg yolks, and oatmeal. Your provider or a dietitian can help you create meal plans with the right amount of iron for you.
    Sources of Iron
  • Do not take iron supplements. Read labels. Do not take vitamins or supplements with iron in them.
  • Do not take vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C increases the amount of iron you absorb. Food sources that are naturally high in vitamin C may be okay for you to have. Vitamin C is found in foods such as oranges, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and potatoes. Your provider or a dietitian can help you create meal plans with the right amount of vitamin C for you.
    Sources of 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.

Follow up with your doctor 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.

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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.

Learn more about Hemochromatosis (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.