Life is unfair, don’t you think?
I write this finding myself in the most confusing of situations. I feel well and on top of my game. My recent blood test at my doctor’s confirmed otherwise. It seems I have a little known genetic order known as Hemochromatosis. It travels under many assumed names, “The Celtic Curse” being one of them.
Put simply, I have a metabolism that doesn’t process iron correctly. Too much is toxic, and if left unchecked, the disease can follow a depressing course. Some sufferers find they have the disease when they are in the advanced stages and have to deal with complications that seriously affect the quality and duration of their lives. For others, like me, the disease is discovered during routine tests for other medical conditions. Treatment is preventative and if started early on has very positive effects on the progress of the disease.
As with most conditions, there are some restrictions with diet. Red meats and offals, being rich in iron are top of the No No list. Sadly, raw seafood is as well.
It goes without saying that I am very grateful to have been diagnosed early, so that treatment can be started quickly. I am similarly mindful of my fellow sufferers who perhaps have not been so fortunate.
Ignorance of the condition is rife even amongst medical practitioners, and raising awareness is key to arresting the progress of this disease into its late stages. To this end I have joined the French Hemochromatosis Society and our local support group. France has been holding a National Awareness Day for a few years now – this year it will be held on 20th June. I will be there, and so will my family.
So,from now on abstinence from such culinary delights as foie gras and fresh oysters is the order of the day – but, like the disease, I’ll live with it.