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Am J Med. 1987 May;82(5):1057-9.

Idiopathic hemochromatosis presenting as amenorrhea and arthritis.


Idiopathic hemochromatosis in young adults has been increasingly recognized over the last three decades. Younger patients with hemochromatosis frequently have presenting problems other than diabetes, cirrhosis, and hyperpigmentation. A young woman with idiopathic hemochromatosis is described. Arthritis and secondary amenorrhea developed at age 20, and liver biopsy showed hemochromatosis at age 29. Further work-up revealed that the amenorrhea was due to underproduction of pituitary gonadotropins. The patient was treated with phlebotomy. Estrogen and progesterone replacement was begun because of severe osteoporosis. Serum iron studies may be useful in young patients with unexplained amenorrhea and/or arthropathy.

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