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Hemochromatosis symptoms
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Hemochromatosis symptoms

Does hemochromatosis have a neurological component?  I'm just being tested for this disease (my brother died from it and my mother and other  brother are suspected to have died from it) & I seem to have many of the very general symptoms with the most prominent symptom of unexplained joint pain but I also have numbness around the periphy of both of my feet & a lot of heel & particularly left arch pain.  Any connection?? and where in the literature can I find info on any neurological components?  Thanks for your help
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28293 tn?1213140550
Hi deb4
There is alot of information about hemochromatosis (and "hereditary hemochromatosis" or "HHC") at

If you go there, just scroll down the column on the left side of your screen and click on "Hemochromatosis". (That will make a whole list of messages appear...click on any that interest you.)

In the meanwhile, here are two articles that describe general symptoms:

Hemochromatosis can affect the entire system, symptoms can be numerous and similar to diseases better known to physicians such as diabetes, heart failure, arthritis, liver disease, impotence, and depression. Therefore misdiagnosis is common. Physicians might focus on one particular disease that can occur as a result of not detecting the cause: hemochromatosis.

Not everyone manifests the same same symptoms. Listed below are those most commonly associated with excessive iron build up:

chronic fatigue
arthritic pain in joints (for some the middle two fingers are affected; this is known as iron fist)
loss of libido (sex drive) or impotence
amenorrhea (premature cessation of menstrual cycle)
changes in skin color such as jaundice, bronze or gray-olive colored skin, a tan without being in the sun, redness in the palms of the hands
abdominal pain
weight loss
shortness of breath
chest pain
heart arrhythmia
elevated blood sugar
enlargement of spleen
elevated liver enzymes (ALT/AST)
irritable bowel syndrome



American Hemochromatosis Society
One or more of the following complaints can point to Hemochromatosis:
* Chronic fatigue
* Increased susceptibility for infections
* Liver function abnormalities
* Arthritis (pain, swelling and morning stiffness of certain joints, often the hands)
* Diabetes
* Loss of libido (less desire in sex) and impotence
* Infertility
* Swollen stomach (or uncomfortable, heavy feeling, mostly on the right side of the belly)
* Heart complaints
* Shortness of breath with physical effort
* Skin pigmentation (bronze or grey coloured skin)
* Loss of weight
* Decrease in body hair
* Early menopause
* Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Every doctor should consider Hemochromatosis in his diagnose when there is no direct cause found for one of the above complaints.


Hope this helps.
Avatar n tn
Deb4, I hope you can find some answers soon. I wish you the best.
Imkindly thank you so muc for posting all that. I have found it very interesting. Plus it answered alot of questions I had. Now I don't have to post them thanks again. Hope yall have a wonder day.
Avatar n tn
Thank you for all of that information.  I have already been to the site you mentioned but in spite of all the available information on hemochromatosis I cannot seem to locate any information regarding a neurological component, specifically peripheral neuropathy.
28293 tn?1213140550
Hi Deb4
Keep in mind that I'm not a doctor...so the following is just my thoughts, okay?
Hemochromatosis can cause iron to deposit in different organs.
When iron deposits in the pancreas....it can cause symptoms of diabetes. (Hemochromatosis is sometimes called "bronze diabetes")

One of the symptoms of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy.

Have you had your blood sugar checked?
Avatar n tn
Thank you imkindly for your continued conversation with me.  Yes, I have been tested for diabetes & that was negative.  Even so, the neuropathy started in my heels which is not typical of diabetes which would start in the toes.....so my doctor tells me.  The neurologist says it's idiopathic....in other works...he doesn't know the cause.  It is possibly completely unrelated to hemochromatosis....which I don't know if I have yet because as of friday my blood work still wasn't back yet although my doctor referred me to hemotology.  In the meantime...my joints are killing me!  I'm trying to post to the neurology forum but it seems to be closed right now to new questions.
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