iron overload

Definition / meaning of iron overload

A condition in which the body takes up and stores more iron than it needs. The extra iron is stored in the liver, heart, and pancreas, which may cause liver disease, heart problems, organ failure, and cancer. It may also cause bronze skin, diabetes, pain in the joints and abdomen, tiredness, and impotence. Iron overload may be inherited, or it may be caused by blood transfusions. Also called hemochromatosis.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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