Hemochromatosis on the Hill

Posted May 13th, 2017 by Canadian Hemochromatosis Society

Senator David Wells of Newfoundland and Labrador will once again rise in the Senate in May to speak on the dangerous consequences of undiagnosed and untreated hemochromatosis. Hereditary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes your body to absorb and retain too much dietary iron, potentially leading to serious disease and early death. Complications from hemochromatosis include liver and heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes and arthritis.  Signs and symptoms may include chronic fatigue, joint pain, irregular heartbeat, mood swings, thyroid problems, bronzing of the skin, loss of libido, and premature menopause amongst others. One in 300 Canadians of mainly Northern European and Celtic heritage have the two genes that puts them at risk for iron overload.

At last May’s Parliamentary Reception: Volunteer Ottawa Chapter leaders Kate and Jackie Lalumiere flank Senator David Wells with CHS president Ian Hilley

“As someone who suffers from hemochromatosis, I can assure you that awareness is the cure,” said Senator Wells during last year’s speech in the Senate. In honour of Hemochromatosis Awareness Month in Canada, Senator Wells is co-hosting his third annual Parliamentary Reception with the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society on May 17th. All Members of Parliament and Senators are invited to attend this awareness event.

“Together let’s put an end to higher health care costs and the greater suffering and premature death related to hemochromatosis in Canada,” says Senator Wells.

Celebrate Hemochromatosis Awareness Month within your community by promoting awareness of the disorder.  Tools and information to help you can be found on the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society’s website, www.toomuchiron.ca.  Here, you will find a template for an awareness letter to your local paper, a printable poster, videos to share, a self-assessment tool and more.