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Big Latin Words

So - My mother, ever the bearer of medical anomaly news from the family front (and random calls to tell me that the sweet old ladies I used to work with are dead), called today to let me know that my brother has tested positive for hemochromatosis.

We have a weird medical history in my family. I probably should never have children based on this history alone (but hey, I'm a white American, it's my birthright to ignore "good ideas"). The females in my family all have migraine conditions or epiliepsy. My mom has a lot of issues concerning her joints, arthritis, and recently high blood pressure. My father claims nothing is ever wrong with him until he puts off going to the doctor for so long that every trip = major surgery.

And looking through the list of conditions symptomatic of this condition it looks like a list of things that have cropped up in all four of us. Joints, arthritis, extreme fatigue, thyroid conditions, diabetes, issues with the liver, pancreas, and heart, etc. So I guess I'll have to add "get a blood test for hemochromatosis" to the other long list of things I should eventually see a doctor about. In reading about this thing, it's funny that it's so common because I don't think I've ever known anyone who had it. But then I don't tend to hang out with a lot of people in their upper 40's to 50's, either and that's when it typically presents.

Good news for my brother - treatment is typically a lot of blood donation to regulate the amount of iron in the blood. The bad news is that there is one thing my brother is deathly afraid of and it's needles.

Comments

uncletravelling
Sep. 16th, 2006 10:50 am (UTC)
yep - your family looks like it's a mess...

I would wonder if your brothers have problems that start at the front end of the endocrine system (hypothalamus/pituitary stuff). Any wacky psych problems to go along with it?

if they actually did the test for the genetic defect (HFE mutation) and he was positive that way, then they're probably right, but it's a good idea to get then one checked again as it can be a false positive -- happened with my cousin who was subsequently bled for no reason for ten years -- turned out that a gluten allergy was indirectly causing the problem (dietary complicated stuff)

poop. Basically if your family had lotsa money and a top-notch endocrinologist, it could probably be figured out. I kinda hope it is hemochromatosis -- bummer that he hates needles if so, though.



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