Service Update

Get the Word Out is on break indefinitely, during this time our Press Release distribution, writing and proof reading services will be unavailable.

However, please feel free to make use of our library of press release resources and information.

Too much iron is bad for you

Monday, 13 August 2012 16:12

Andrew Chapman knows about loose iron. His magnificent photographic study of Australia’s woolsheds includes many sheets of rusting corrugated iron. But Andrew had iron problems of his own.

Haemochromatosis is a scary long word. It means inherited iron overload disorder. About 1 in every 200 Australians have the genes and may experience chronic fatigue and aching joints. If they load up more iron they may develop liver problems, diabetes, arthritis, heart problems and loss of sexual functions.

Andrew didn’t know he had haemochromatosis until 2001. He been becoming unreasonably tired. A diagnosis of extremely high iron levels in his blood led to 10 years of regular health management and slowly regaining the strength that he had lost. Then, in late December of 2010, his liver began to fail. By early February the following year he was lying in a coma with only two days to live when a donor liver became available. He received the transplant and his life was saved. But if Andrew had been diagnosed with haemochromatosis when he was younger, before he built up an iron overload, he need never had had this trouble.

Management consultant Alan Hough, 52, from Botany in New South Wales, was first diagnosed with Hereditary Haemochromatosis when he was 43. For Alan, his diagnosis has been a good luck story, diagnosed at a relatively early age before damage had been done to his body’s organs. It has also been a good luck story for his father, who was also diagnosed with the disease and subsequently began treatment, after the recommended testing of family members. Alan says that he is very grateful to be have been diagnosed early, and finds the quarterly program of venesection (removal of blood) to be a small price to pay to manage the condition.

Unfortunately this condition is often overlooked. Many people, like Andrew, have years of fatigue and ill health before they are diagnosed. Sometimes it is too late.

August 13th to 19th is Haemochromatosis Awareness Week.

Haemochromatosis Australia, the not-for-profit support and advocacy group, is keen to make people more aware of the condition. Their message is
“If you know that someone in your family has haemochromatosis, or you have been feeling tired and aching for an extended period, talk to your GP about haemochromatosis”.
“Haemochromatosis is difficult to say but easy to find and simple to treat” says Ben Marris, President of Haemochromatosis Australia, the non-profit advocacy and support group. “If you think you may have this condition you should be tested now and iron out your future health problems.”

For more information visit www.haemochromatosis.org.au or call the Haemochromatosis Information Line 1300 019 028

###

Andrew Chapman is happy to discuss his experience with haemochromatosis on air. He may be contacted on (03) 9752 1492 Mob. 0418 557 590, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.bigcheez.com.au

Alan Hough may be contacted on (02) 9316.9924 - 0407 132.848

For more information on haemochromatosis
Professor Martin Delatycki, Director, Bruce Lefroy Centre for Genetic Health Research (03) 9496 4355

Ben Marris, President Haemochromatosis Australia
0428 62674787 or (03)62 674787
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it www.haemochromatosis.org.au

HAEMOCHROMATOSIS AWARENESS WEEK

PUBLIC INFORMATION EVENTS


Sydney Information Session and AGM
We will launch Haemochromatosis Awareness Week at a free public haemochromatosis information session on Saturday 11 August 2012 1.00pm at the Parramatta Town Hall. The session will be followed by the Annual General Meeting of Haemochromatosis Australia.

Port Macquarie Information Session
In the lead-up to Haemochromatosis Awareness Week there will be a free public haemochromatosis information session on Saturday 4 August 2012 at 1pm at the Port Macquarie Panthers Club.

Brisbane Haemochromatosis Seminar
In the lead-up to Haemochromatosis Awareness Week there will be a free haemochromatosis seminar on Wednesday 8 August 2012 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at QIMR, Herston. The seminar will be chaired by Professor Lawrie Powell, world authority on haemochromatosis. Speakers include scientists and health professionals from QIMR, The University of Queensland, The Australian Red Cross Blood Service and the Haemochromatosis Australia.

Hobart Art Exhibition
A group art exhibition for Haemochromatosis Awareness Week to be held in the Stable Gallery, Cooley\'s Hotel, Moonah from 10 August until 4 September. All welcome! Grand opening Friday 10 August at 6pm.

Adelaide Information Session
During Haemochromatosis Awareness Week there will be a free public haemochromatosis information session on Tuesday 14 August 2012 at 7pm at Burnside Community Hall, Tusmore.

Perth Information Session
During Haemochromatosis Awareness Week there will be a free public haemochromatosis information session on Thursday 16 August 2012 6.30pm at Fremantle Hospital.

Sunshine Coast, Queensland Information Session
During Haemochromatosis Awareness Week there will be a free public haemochromatosis information session on Sunday 19 August 2012 at 2pm at the Sunshine Beach Surf Club.

Melbourne Information Session
As part of Haemochromatosis Awareness Week events, there will be a free public haemochromatosis information session on Saturday 25 August 2012 at 1pm at the North Melbourne Community Centre.

Gold Coast Information Session
As part of Haemochromatosis Awareness Week events, there will be a free public haemochromatosis information session on Saturday 25 August 2012 at 10 am at the Elanora Public Library.

HAEMOCHROMATOSIS AUSTRALIA
Haemochromatosis Australia is the support, health promotion and advocacy group for people with haemochromatosis and their families. The group has operated continuously for 22 years.

• It is a not for profit group run entirely by volunteers.
• It has over 1400 members across Australia.
• It operates an Information line 1300 019 028 and informative website.
• It publishes two informative booklets and a quarterly newsletter.
• It organises local support group and information sessions.

The groups medical advisors include some of the leading academics and clinicians in the field of haemochromatosis, including - Prof Emeritus Lawrie Powell, Prof John Olynyk, Prof Martin Delatycki, Prof Darrell Crawford, Prof Katie Allen

For more information www.haemochromatosis.org,au

HAEMOCHROMATOSIS
Haemochromatosis, or inherited iron overload disorder, is the most common genetic disorder in Australia. It causes the body to absorb excess iron which builds up in the organs and joints over many years and eventually becomes toxic.

Early symptoms include joint pains, fatigue, weakness and sexual dysfunction.

If untreated it can lead to serious and potentially fatal symptoms including diabetes, liver cancer and cirrhosis, heart failure and osteoarthritis.

Despite being so common (one in 200 have the genetic pre-disposition) it is not well known and is frequently overlooked. Often only the individual symptoms are treated and the underlying cause is not recognised.

Tests for the condition are simple and cheap. If iron studies show raised ferritin on two occasions, or if a first degree relative is diagnosed, then then a genetic test is covered by Medicare.

If people are diagnosed early and treated then haemochromatosis is no barrier to a normal healthy life.

Treatment is simple, drug free and uncontroversial. Regular venesection, like giving blood at a blood bank, unloads iron. Often this can be done at the Red Cross Blood Service and the blood is useful.