What happens with hemochromatosis?

In hemochromatosis, excess iron builds up slowly in the body. Symptoms generally begin later in life. If the condition goes untreated for many years, it can lead to severe organ damage and other conditions, such as:

  • Liver failure (cirrhosis).
  • Diabetes .
  • Arthritis .
  • Heart failure .
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias).
  • Pituitary dysfunction, which can include problems with the male or female sexual glands.
  • Cancer (especially of the liver).
  • Infertility.

Last Updated: April 20, 2009

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