Recent research by patient charity Haemochromatosis UK has revealed a startling fact: 1 in 10 individuals in Northern Ireland are at risk of genetic haemochromatosis, a condition characterized by an overload of iron in the body. This condition, although widely unfamiliar to the general population, is the most prevalent genetic disorder in the area. Left untreated, it can lead to severe health complications such as liver disease, cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, joint pain, sexual health issues, dementia, and mental health disorders.
In an effort to raise awareness of genetic haemochromatosis, Haemochromatosis UK has launched a comprehensive £300,000 multi-channel campaign. The campaign, funded and created by Genesis Advertising with additional support from Hagan Homes, utilizes various mediums such as television, radio, press, billboards, and digital platforms to reach a wide audience. The aim of the campaign is to educate the public about the symptoms and dangers of this common yet treatable condition.
According to market research conducted earlier this year, a staggering 78% of locals were unaware of genetic haemochromatosis. The CEO of Haemochromatosis UK, Neil McClements, stressed the importance of early diagnosis and public awareness in saving lives. The charity believes that raising awareness through this campaign will ultimately lead to more people seeking diagnosis and receiving appropriate treatment.
Treatment for genetic haemochromatosis is relatively straightforward and effective. Regular blood donation is recommended as a means of reducing iron overload in the body. The blood collected during donation can be utilized by the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) to help individuals suffering from other medical conditions.
As the campaign gains momentum, individuals like Sean McKegney, who was diagnosed with genetic haemochromatosis by chance, are speaking out in support. McKegney expressed his gratitude for the awareness campaign and screening program, as it helped him understand his condition and take necessary precautions. He encourages his family and others to get tested as well, emphasizing the importance of early detection.
To further extend the reach of the campaign, Haemochromatosis UK is offering a home-based screening program across Northern Ireland. Residents can order a subsidized health check kit online until November 30th, which is then delivered and returned by post. Within two weeks, participants will receive their test results along with guidance on the next steps to take.
For more information about genetic haemochromatosis or support following a diagnosis, visit the official website of Haemochromatosis UK at [ironoverload.org.uk](https://www.ironoverload.org.uk).
What is genetic haemochromatosis?
Genetic haemochromatosis is a common genetic condition characterized by an overload of iron in the body. If left untreated, it can lead to various serious health issues.
What are the symptoms of genetic haemochromatosis?
Symptoms of genetic haemochromatosis can include liver disease, cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue, diabetes, severe joint pain, sexual health issues, dementia, and mental health issues.
How is genetic haemochromatosis treated?
Treatment for genetic haemochromatosis involves regular blood donation, which helps reduce iron levels in the body.
How can I get tested for genetic haemochromatosis?
Residents of Northern Ireland can order a subsidized health check kit online through the Haemochromatosis UK website until November 30th. The kit will be delivered to your home, and once returned, results will be provided within two weeks.