Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload) Topic Guide
Hemochromatosis: Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH, iron overload) is a genetic disorder in which excess iron is retained in the body. Hemochromatosis may affect several organs in the body including the skin, joints, liver, pancreas, thyroid, testicles, and heart. As a result of the excess build up of iron in organs, conditions and diseases can result from the excess iron, for example, diabetes, cirrhosis, heart failure, and brown skin, among others. Treatment for hemochromatosis is generally phlebotomy and dietary changes.
Liver Blood Tests Liver blood tests, or liver function tests, are used to detect and diagnose disease or inflammation of the liver. Elevated aminotransferase (ALT, AST) levels are measured as well as alkaline phosphatase, albumin, and bilirubin. Some diseases that cause abnormal levels of ALT and AST include hepatitis A, B, and C, cirrhosis, iron overload, and Tylenol liver damage. Medications also cause elevated liver enzymes. There are less common conditions and diseases that also cause elevated liver enzyme levels.