Hereditary hemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic diseases in the United States. It involves an imbalance in the absorption, use and storage of iron in the body. As a result, iron is absorbed in excess and accumulates in a variety of tissues, particularly the liver. This leads to inflammation of the liver that over many years can progress to a variety of diseases, including enlarged liver, cirrhosis, cancer and liver failure.
Our Approach to Hemochromatosis
Treatment for hemochromatosis involves having a set amount of blood removed regularly. Over time, this lowers iron to normal levels and prevents conditions such as liver disease. Patients need to have periodic blood draws for life.
If the liver is already severely damaged, liver transplantation may be an option. UCSF offers a liver transplant program that is known for outstanding outcomes and for survival statistics that are among the best in the country. Our program helped pioneer techniques that have made transplantation safer and more successful.
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UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.