Hemochromatosis is a condition where your body stores an excessive amount of iron. You may be familiar with the fact that iron is an essential mineral, one that can be derived from your diet, as it is used to produce haemoglobin in your red blood cells. However, having too much iron in your body can have adverse consequences, particularly affecting internal organs like your liver, pancreas, and heart. Thus, treatments like Venesection for Hemochromatosis are commonly performed to prevent the build-up of iron, which can lead to organ failure. At Narooma Medical Centre, we diagnose and treat Hemochromatosis as well as advise you on lifestyle changes you can make to lead a better, healthier life.
Primary hemochromatosis refers to the disease being a result of genetics. In contrast, secondary hemochromatosis refers to the disease being a result of another blood-related disorder like anaemia or blood transfusions. Symptoms typically begin to appear at the age of 30, and while there is no fixed cure for hemochromatosis, there are various treatments done to reduce the amount of iron in your body. Venesections or venesection therapy, in particular, is one of the main treatments for this condition.
Since hemochromatosis is a condition of the blood, it cannot easily be detected through symptoms alone. You must have a doctor test your serum ferritin levels to determine how much iron is in your body’s organs. At times, your doctor may also examine the state of your liver to see if there is any damage in the organ. Thus, it is best that you have regular check-ups with your general doctor to ensure that hemochromatosis can be detected as early as possible.
Venesection for Hemochromatosis is also called phlebotomy and is essentially a procedure done to remove blood, typically about 450mL to 500mL. It is generally like the idea of donating blood since it is essentially the same procedure. Venesection therapy is effective in reducing iron levels to prevent an excessive amount of iron from being stored in your body. Since venesection is similar to blood donations, it should come with little to no side effects and generally no long-term consequences. You may feel occasional dizziness or light-headedness as your body adjusts to having less blood, so if you experience this, you can inform our doctors or nurses to get proper assistance. You may also notice some bruising at the site of injection, but this is expected to go away after a few days. Generally, it is best to avoid lifting heavy objects with the arm used for venesection for at least 24 hours to prevent further bruising or soreness. It is also highly advisable that you eat and stay hydrated before getting a venesection to minimize the side effects and avoid getting lightheaded after the procedure.
If you suspect the possibility of having hemochromatosis but are unsure, visit Narooma Medical Centre today to get a proper diagnosis and a venesection to have it treated. Our team of healthcare professionals can guide you through each step of the way and answer any questions you may have. Thus, feel free to reach out to us and come by our centre to get your hemochromatosis treated as early as possible. Call us on 0244765588 / 0424204562