Hereditary haemochromatosis occurs when your body absorbs and improperly stores too much iron from the food you eat. Over time this leads to iron overload.
Extra iron is stored in areas of the body where it can cause problems, such as the liver, heart, pancreas, pituitary gland and other organs. Without treatment hereditary haemochromatosis can lead to more serious conditions (such as diabetes, liver poisoning and cancer), which can cause significant and life-threatening organ damage.
Hereditary haemochromatosis is more common among Caucasians and is also known as familial haemochromatosis or inherited iron overload disorder.