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How Do I Know if I Have Haemochromatosis?
Your doctor can perform a simple blood test to evaluate your iron levels.
Normal Serum Ferritin Ranges are:
12 - 300 ug/L for men and post menopausal women
12 - 200 ug/L for pre-menopausal women
Normal Transferrin Saturation Range is
If either of these tests are elevated, the test should be redone and if results are still elevated, an HFE gene test for haemochromatosis should be requested. Elevated transferrin saturation is usually an early and sensitive marker of hereditary haemochromatosis. For a person who has hereditary haemochromatosis, or sometimes even carriers of the disorder, it is recommended that iron levels be lowered to around 20 ug/L to prevent accumulation of excess iron. Although carriers are not at risk for destructively high iron accumulation, their serum ferritin levels will sometimes be mildly increased and occasionally periodic (ie up to 4 times per year) blood donations (phlebotomies) will be recommended to keep ferritin levels within the normal range.
Ongoing blood tests are important, usually once per year and sometimes more depending on what is recommended by your doctor, taking into account your own medical situation and results.