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.