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Hemochromatosis

Should I get genetic test for hemochromatosis

11/04/2008

Question:

My serum iron level is "normal" per my MD, but I have severe CFS and osteoarthritis...should I push for a genetic test for hemochromatosis? My CBC and CMP`s are also normal. When I was in the hosp. Sept 22 for total knee, the RBC indices were abnormal, but found no answer with further testing for pernicious anemia. Thanks so much,

Answer:

What's really key here is the ferritin level. I'm not sure what iron level was referred to in your letter. A ferritin that is less than 200 would suggest that iron is not playing a significant role in terms of the osteoarthritic symptoms or the fatigue. If greater than that, it's probably worth checking the genetic assay. Otherwise, I wouldn't waste money on it. Pernicious anemia is a completely different disease and has nothing to do with this.

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Response by:

Mark   Wurster, MD Mark Wurster, MD
Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University