July is National Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month. Hemochromatosis is a genetic condition where the body absorbs too much iron from a normal diet. It is one of the most common genetic disorders seen in the United States. It is not a blood disease. It cannot be caught. The excess of iron absorbed by the body can damage joints, organs, and eventually be fatal. Iron is an essential nutrient found in many foods. Iron is carried by hemoglobin of red blood cells to all parts of the body. Humans normally absorb about 8-10% of the iron in foods that they eat. Other names for hemochromatosis are iron overload disease, iron storage disease, bronze diabetes, hereditary iron overload, or familial iron overload. People with too much iron can absorb four times more iron than normal. Iron overload is the opposite of iron deficiency anemia. There are several types of this disease. Type 1, also called Classic Hemochromatosis (abbreviated HHC), is a leading cause of iron overload disease. CompassionCare Hospice of Las Vegas knows iron overload disease can increase your risk of diabetes mellitus, heart attack, arthritis, and cancers to name a few. Caucasians are the people most at risk for classic hemochromatosis. More than 1 million Americans have the genes for HHC. It is estimated that as many more as 16 million Americans have some degree of high iron and are at risk for some type of the disease.