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Friday, April 04, 2008

Cirrhosis of the liver

If you’re fortunate enough to get treated for hemochromatosis before it damages your organs, then you can prevent the serious complications we’ve talked about. If you already have some of these conditions, treatment may slow the progression of these health concerns. In some cases, you may even find some of these conditions may be improved.

If you already have cirrhosis of the liver, your physician may – in addition to treating your iron overload – monitor you for cancer of the liver through an abdominal ultrasound as well as an alpha-fetoprotein blood test every six months.

Some individuals find, though, that they must endure literally years of this procedure before enough iron has been removed from their system. According to Raymond J. Bergeron and his colleagues at the University of Florida treatments as they exist now, remove only tiny amounts of iron from the most sensitive organs, like the heart.

In response to this problem according to the American Chemical Society, they report the synthesis and the early testing on laboratory animals of what could be a new generation of iron-chelating drugs. These compounds may be able to remove excess iron from the body in a more efficient manner than is currently done. These compounds work by targeting specific, iron-sensitive organs, especially the liver, the heart and the pancreas. The research is still in its infancy but may prove to help many who now undergo prolonged treatment.



Blogger Maureen said...

My HHC was diagnosed in 2001 and my liver cirrhosis diagnosed in 2002--only because I ditched the hematologist who said he didn't know why my liver enzymes were elevated (even after my family dr. had already diagnosed the HHC). One symptom I don't often see listed for severe iron overload (but was what sent me to my family dr. in the first place) is rapid hair loss. I was only 40 and just married, but the near-baldness was only the tip of the iceberg.

8:28 AM  

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