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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Prevention

There is no way to prevent hemochromatosis, because the disorder is inherited. However, complications of the disease, including cirrhosis, arthritis, heart failure and diabetes, may be prevented by early detection and treatment. Avoiding supplemental iron (as contained in supplements and many vitamins) and high doses of vitamin C (which frees iron to deposit in the tissues) also may help to prevent complications of iron overload.

Family members of anyone diagnosed with hemochromatosis should be screened for the condition.

People with hemochromatosis should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, and should avoid substances that can injure the liver, such as too much alcohol.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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