Haemochromatosis can usually be diagnosed with blood tests.

Speak to your GP about getting tested if:

  • you have persistent symptoms of haemochromatosis these symptoms can have a number of causes, and your GP may want to rule out some of these before arranging a Blood tests
  • a parent or sibling has been diagnosed with haemochromatosis even if you don't have any symptoms, you may be at risk of developing the condition at some point

The tests you may have are outlined below.

Blood tests

Several blood tests are needed to diagnose haemochromatosis.

You'll have tests to check:

  • the amount ofiron in your blood known as yourtransferrin saturationlevel
  • the amount of iron stored in your body known as yourserum ferritin level
  • if your DNA carriesa genetic fault associated with the condition read about the causes of haemochromatosis for more about this

These tests willhelp showif you have haemochromatosis, if you're a carrier of a genetic fault linked to the condition, or if you might have another condition that causes high iron levels.

If these tests detect a problem, you'llusually be referred to a hospital specialist to discuss what the results mean and whether you might need any further tests or treatment.

Further tests

If blood tests show that you have haemochromatosis, you may need to have some further tests to check if the condition has caused any organ damage, particularly damageto your liver.

These tests may include:

  • a blood test to check for substances that indicate a problem with your liver
  • a liver biopsy where a needle is used to remove a small sample of liver tissue under local anaesthetic so it can be checked for signs of damage
  • a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to check for iron in your liver and look for signs of liver damage

Liver damage is one of the main complications of haemochromatosis .

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 8 Nov 2016