HEREDITARY HEMOCHROMATOSIS is
the most common genetic disease in the
U.S., affecting as many as one out of
every 200 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also known as iron overload disease,
hemochromatosis occurs when a single
gene mutation causes the body to absorb
extra iron from food without an efficient
means of excreting the excess. Over time,
iron accumulates in tissues and organs,
and the resulting damage causes other
diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, liver
disease and heart disease.
The gene mutation that can cause
hemochromatosis is most common
among people whose ancestors came
from Europe. Not all people with this
gene mutation develop iron overload.
STAYING HEALTHY ON THE GO
Tips for healthy travel
Symptoms include the following and
tend to occur in men between the ages
of 30 and 50 and in women over age 50:
• Joint pain
• Fatigue, weakness
• Lack of energy
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of sex drive
• Weight loss
• Shortness of breath
Diagnosis and treatment
Most regular medical checkups do
not include tests to measure the amount
of iron in the body. For that reason, hemochromatosis is often not diagnosed in
people who have the disease.
Blood banks do not screen for iron
overload and hemochromatosis. They
use hematocrit or hemoglobin readings
prior to a blood donation, not the correct
tests for iron overload.
If you think you have symptoms or if
you have a close relative who has hemochromatosis, ask your healthcare provider to check the amount of iron in your
blood. Genetic testing is also an option.
Treatment consists of taking blood
from the arm, much like giving blood.
Frequency of treatment varies from
person to person. Patients can expect
a normal life span if they are diagnosed
and start treatment for hemochromatosis before organ damage has begun.
For more information, visit www.cdc.
gov, www.diabetes.org or www.american
hs.org (the American Hemochromatosis
By Deborah Herlax Enos
BECAUSE I TRAVEL frequently, I
must be resourceful to stay healthy.
The night before a trip, I pack my
favorite nutritious snacks, and I
never get caught off guard. Well,
Last week was a bit of a whirlwind and I was rushing to pack. I
just grabbed whatever I could and
stuffed it in my suitcase. It wasn’t
until I woke up to a growling
stomach in my hotel room that I
realized what I’d forgotten.
Just order room service, right? Well, it
was a small hotel and the restaurant didn’t
open until the exact time I was scheduled to
start my wellness seminar, a seminar that I
knew wouldn’t go well unless I had enough
protein to keep me firing on all cylinders.
Fortunately, I can be rather persuasive
when I’m hungry. I convinced the hotel
manager to open the gift shop so I could
grab a protein bar. When I returned to my
room and found my glasses, I quickly
scanned the label. Ugh. I had just ingested a
day’s worth of sugar. It was barely daylight.
I learned a good lesson that day: Even a
nutritionist can get tripped up by foods that
sound good for you but aren’t.
Here are some of my favorite tips for
• Pack high-protein, high-fiber and low-
sugar snacks for breakfast. I con-
sider morning to be a danger zone.
Why? Many people wait too long
to eat breakfast. Research shows
that early breakfast eaters may
burn an extra 150 calories per day.
Over a year, that’s a lot of calories!
The American Heart Association
recommends that women keep
their sugar calories to 100 per day
and men to 150 per day.
• Keep your personal space
bacteria free. You’ve probably heard that cell-phones have more bacteria than a toilet seat.
Just imagine what’s growing in high-traffic
hot spots. That’s why I travel with sanitizing
wipes and hit the scariest areas: airplane tray
tables, TV remote, light switches and the
steering wheel of the rental car.
• Keep on movin’—by eating enough
fiber. Travel can affect the digestion of even
the most ardent traveler. Staying hydrated
(liquid helps to move food through the digestive tract) and eating enough fiber is key. Grab
an apple from the breakfast buffet, ask for extra
veggies on your sandwich or add beans to your
salad. Every gram of fiber helps. C
Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist,
author, corporate health speaker and board
member of the American Heart Association.
Balancing the blues
“DEPRESSION CAN BE rooted in a number of problems, and those need to be
addressed,” notes psychologist and Costco
member Gregory L. Jantz, author of
Overcoming Anxiety, Worry and Fear (not
available at Costco). “A holistic treatment
approach, which may or may not include
medication, helps people learn techniques
to manage it,” he says. He offers these tips:
Intellectual. Be aware of what you are
reading and listening to, and seek to counter
any negative input with positive influences.
Try reading an uplifting book and setting
aside time in your day to fill yourself up intellectually with constructive, encouraging
Relational. Think of a person you really
enjoy talking to, someone who makes you
feel good about yourself or who’s just fun to
be around. Plan today to spend time with
that person this week, even if it’s just for a
JULY 2013 ;e Costco Connection 51
moment or two. Make the effort to verbalize
your appreciation for his or her positive presence in your day.
Physical. Physical activity is a wonderful way of promoting emotional health. Take
a walk around the neighborhood. Stroll
through a city park. The goals are to get your
body moving and to allow you to focus on
something other than yourself and your surroundings. Greet your neighbors, stop at the
park and watch someone playing with his
dog, or cheer at a Little League game. Intentionally open up your focus to include the
broader world around you.
Spiritual. Take some time to nourish
your spirit. If you are a member of a religious
organization, make sure to attend services
this week. If you are not, spend time in quiet
reflection, meditation or prayer. Intentionally
engage in an activity that replenishes and
reconnects your spirit. C