The Tragic Connections Between Diabetes, Arthritis and Iron Overload


Approximately 45% of patients diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) will have some form of diabetes. And 30% of individuals with HH suffer some form of arthritis.


Let that soak in.

These illnesses are red flags  – HH could be the source!

If you suffer from arthritis you may also have hereditary hemochromatosis. If you have arthritis, particularly in the knuckle and first joint of the first and second fingers, and any of the symptoms listed below, you should discuss your symptoms with your physician and advocate for simple blood tests to detect elevated iron, saturation and a genetic test for HH.

If you suffer from diabetes and any symptoms listed below, the underlying factor/trigger could be HH. Advocate for simple tests to rule  it in or out.

Suffering from any of the following symptoms?

  • ❑  chronic fatigue
  • ❑  abdominal pain and bloating
  • ❑  loss of body hair
  • ❑  loss of libido and/or erectile dysfunction in men
  • ❑  loss of libido and irregular periods and/or early menopause in women
  • ❑  pigmentation of the skin resembling a bronzed sun tan or slate grey colour
  • ❑  personality changes, mood swings; anger and depression
  • ❑  thyroid problems, sudden weight loss
  • ❑  elevated liver enzymes, cirrhosis, liver disease
  • ❑  Diabetes (type 2), insulin resistant diabetes
  • ❑  arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat), cardiomyopathy (sluggish heart muscle)
  • ❑ headaches
  • ❑ High Blood Pressure


Because only 1 in 4 people with HH get significant early warning symptoms, and because many early symptoms of HH  are vague, mimic middle-age/other illnesses, a comprehensive frontline testing program is desperately needed – the American Medical Association’s study concluded putting iron panel tests back on standard blood panels would increase early diagnosis of HH 20 fold:

EX: 20,000 = 400,000 people getting early, life-saving treatment.images-2

Don’t let the medical system play catch up and individual doctors play guessing games with your life when a series of simple, inexpensive tests can rule in or out a treatable disorder – avoiding chronic illness, pharmaceutical interventions and premature death if caught in time.


You can help change the status quo:

  1. Sign our petition to make iron testing standard and comprehensive:  Read/sign petition here
  2. Share our awareness video:
  3. Donate any amount to our four action projects: Donate:


8 thoughts on “The Tragic Connections Between Diabetes, Arthritis and Iron Overload

  1. My son has Hemochromatosis and thank God he found out before it cause real damage to his body. But it’s a disease he will have to fight the rest of his life. They need to do more routine testing for it. So many lives could be saved if they did.

  2. Great article! My brother and I both were diagnosed with HH in 2010. When talking to others about HH, I tell them the key to staying healthy with HH is to be aware you have it.

  3. I completely agree with this idea as I have HH and complained about the symptoms for a few years. I was only diagnosed after my brother was diagnosed and I insisted for the genetic test. I believe there are many more in my extended family but unfortunately they have not taken the step to find out.

  4. I am homozygous Cy282 .
    I was misdiagnosed with leukemia until my iron was checked.
    Please make iron testing a standard for routine labs nationwide and help diagnose people who would never be diagnosed otherwise.
    I live in a ve small town and after my diagnosis my primary care began testing her patients for elevated iron ,she diagnosed 8 people who otherwise would have never been diagnosed.
    They are all receiving therapudic phelebotomy and it ultimately saved lives.
    Thank you

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