27th May 2016
Horseracing’s ‘Ironman’ Ruby Walsh was reunited with Hurricane Fly at the Irish National Stud & Gardens to launch a campaign to reduce the numbers of people suffering unnecessarily from Haemochromatosis. This year’s Haemochromatosis Awareness Day takes place on Thursday 2nd June. Also at the launch was Margaret Mullett, Chairperson of Irish Haemochromatosis Association with Sophie, Leah and Georgina Mullett. Molly Geoghegan and Brendan Keenan, who have the genetic condition were also in attendance.
Known as the ‘Celtic Mutation’, Ireland has the highest levels of the condition in the world. Haemochromatosis is a genetic disorder where the body absorbs excessive iron from the diet and stores it in the body. The IHA is encouraging people who are suffering from symptoms such as chronic fatigue, joint pain, diabetes, irregular heartbeat and enlarged liver to consult their GP.
A simple blood test to check your iron status can confirm or rule out iron overload. The accumulated iron affects the liver, heart, pancreas, endocrine glands and joints, leading to impaired function of these organs and eventually to disease and organ failure. As many as one in 83 Irish people are predisposed to iron overload while one in five are carriers of the gene.
The treatment is simple and effective. It involves the removal of blood and is similar to blood donation. Early diagnosis is critical and Haemochromatosis is an ideal condition to consider for population screening in Ireland.
The National Awareness Day is next Thursday 2nd June and there will be information stands in a number of shopping centres and hospitals throughout the country. The full list of venues can be viewed on www.haemochromatosis-ir.com
If you have any concerns about the condition please call the Irish Haemochromatosis Association support group on 01-8735911.