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hemachromatosis and osteoarthritis
Two weeks ago I was diagnosed with both osteoarthritis and hemachromatosis. I was completely shocked. I had been having knee and hip pain for two months since I fell down the stairs at my parent's cottage. At first, I thought it was just because the fall was worse than I thought but when the pain lingered. I went to the doctor. After the xrays came back they told me I had osteoarthritis. A subsequent blood test confirmed hemachromatosis too. I learned that the hemachromatosis can cause osteoarthritis and that I have liver damage as well. It has all been a lot to take in.

It all makes more sense when I look up the symptoms. I have suffered from depression for 10 years. They put me on several medications and I felt better but not as good. I have also had digestion problems for years.

Anyways, I am wondering if anyone else knows whether the osteoarthritis caused by injury will get worse over time if the hemachromatosis is managed? I asked my doctor but I didn't get an answer that seemed definitive.

I am sorry that you have gone through so much recently! There is nothing like multiple diagnoses to make it even harder to manage. I had enough difficulties when I was told I had OA. It is a good idea to turn to support groups in times like these to learn from the veterans what doctors have not experienced.

I do not have hemochromatosis so I cannot say whether your OA will get worse, but my suspicion is that it will. The joints in the knees and hips normally wear out over a life time and heal very slowly because cartilage is not great at healing. If you have damaged cartilage, it may not heal properly at all.

The best action you can take is to look after your joints as much as possible. Do exercises to strengthen the muscles and avoid activities that put too much strain on the joints. That is what I would recommend.

I agree with greentomato. Your joints will probably get worse over time. In some ways having injured them is like premature aging so you are going to have aches and pains in the knees sooner than most people. You did not mention what stage your joints are in terms of the damage, but the worse the stage, the more difficult it would be to heal.

Hi, I fell down a few steps, a good many years ago, landed on one knee and injured my back. That started deterioration in the knees
and the back, leading to osteoarthritis. This eventually lead to double knee replacement. I walk fine now. But I would guess it is good to manage your other condition, but the arthritis is going to move on its own through your body. There is Glusciosime, I am not spelling it correctly, but it helps the joints. A health food store manager can help you. Also Omega-3 Fish Oil is good for inflammation reduction. But check with your doctor regarding both, as you have other conditions. The Omega-3 is good for depression as well, if you can take it. Good luck to you.
The last two weeks have been hard but I am trying to be positive. I am happiest that my depression should get better with better managed iron levels. I am also positive that I found out now instead of later. I don't have noticeable damage to my heart and that would be the worst.

ebellegreen, the doctor said that my knees are stage 2 so that doesn't seem that bad. He said there isn't a lot of cartilage floating around in the knee and I don't have chronic inflammation at least. As long as I can keep it from getting worse for another 20 to 30 years, I will be happy.

I like your attitude. Positivity is a very important part of effectively managing chronic illness.

I wanted to add that my aunt has hemachromatosis and she manages it well without any problems so as long as you have your iron levels under control, I think you would do well. While everyone is right that the cartilage wears over a life time, if you look after your knees, they do heal even if it is slowly. Regular exercise that increases the blood flow to the cartilage should help it heal faster.

Your doctor didn't give a definitive answer because there isn't a definitive answer, it depends on the person. You can ensure your diet and lifestyle alleviates your osteoarthritis. You need to try to stay active to keep your joints strong and you need to eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in omega-3.
​Thanks for the information everyone. My husband has been prodding me
for years to exercise with him to help my depression. I am not a big fan
of exercising but it looks like it could help me several ways.
Because I have a bad back and cannot do conventional excercises, before I get out of bed in the morning. I perform limited exercise, leg lifts, arm swings, bended knee swings from side to side. Do whatever you can to stimulate the circulation, and help the body. Excercise right in the bed.
Just be sure to take it easy. Swimming is easy on the joints. It is probably not what your husband had in mind but it is still a good work out.

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