African Iron Overload

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report African Iron Overload is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • African siderosis
  • Bantu siderosis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Summary
African iron overload is a rare disorder characterized abnormally elevated levels of iron in the body. The name originates from the initial description of this entity in sub-Saharan Africa, in communities where affected individuals drink a traditional, homemade beer that contains a high amount of iron. Symptoms may vary from case to case but can include the accumulation of fibrous tissue (fibrosis) in the liver and, eventually, scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). The exact cause of African iron overload is unknown, but researchers believe that a combination of dietary and genetic factors result in the development of the disorder.

Introduction
Researches originally believed that the popular, iron-rich beer caused cases of African iron overload. However, many individuals that drank the beer did not develop the disorder and some individuals that did not drink the beer did develop it. This led researchers to speculate that a mutation of a gene or genes involved in the transport or breakdown (metabolism) of iron must play a role in the development of African iron overload. Such a gene has not yet been identified.

Resources

Iron Overload Diseases Association, Inc.
525 Mayflower Road
West Palm Beach, Fl 33405
Tel: (561)586-8246
Fax: (561)842-9881
Tel: (866)768-8629
Email: iod@ironoverload.org
Internet: http://ironoverload.org

Iron Disorders Institute
PO Box 675
Taylors, SC 29687
USA
Tel: (864)292-1175
Fax: (864)292-1878
Tel: (888)565-4766
Email: info@irondisorders.org
Internet: http://www.irondisorders.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  3/12/2013
Copyright  2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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