Hereditary hemochromatosis is a disease in which an abnormal gene causes the body to absorb too much iron from food. Iron builds up in body organs, which can lead to serious liver damage (cirrhosis), diabetes, heart failure, arthritis, and skin discoloration. Most people do not know that they have hemochromatosis until organ damage occurs. If the condition is identified early, organ damage can be prevented or slowed by periodic removal of blood with the same procedure used during blood donation. Tests for hemochromatosis include blood tests that indicate body levels of iron (transferrin saturation and ferritin level). Another test looks for the most common gene abnormality in hemochromatosis. People disagree about whether routine medical care should include screening for hemochromatosis. Screening means looking for the disease in people who have no symptoms. Screening is different from diagnosis, which refers to testing people who have symptoms of a disease. Knowing about hereditary hemochromatosis early enough might help to prevent organ damage. However, not all people who have the genetic abnormality develop organ damage. The risks of screening include unnecessary blood removal and giving people who may never get sick the label “hemochromatosis.” Such labeling might cause anxiety or problems with health insurance.