On last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County it was revealed that Tamra Judge’s son Ryan Vieth suffers from the genetic blood disorder hemochromatosis, which requires him to make weekly visits to the doctor’s office to have blood drained.
Tamra talked about her son’s diagnosis, and it’s rumored link to his use of HGH, in her Bravo blog post this week:
The news of Ryan’s blood disorder had just shook our family and we were trying to wrap our mind around the diagnosis. Hemochromatosis is a genetic blood disorder. In simple terms, your body produces too much iron. There is no cure and it is a lifetime of treatment and special diet. Ryan goes in once a week to get his blood drained. If it is not treated he could have liver failure, heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and many other life-threatening issues. This disease has nothing to do with him taking HGH. In fact had he never taken HGH, we would have never known he had the issue until it was too late. So the good thing is Dr. Lee caught before any damage was done to his organs.
For fans of Ryan on social media, the hemochromatosis diagnosis is nothing new as he has been sharing photos and commentary from his weekly doctor visits for months. Here are most of them including his captions:
On a side note, in the photo at the top of this post it appears as though Ryan may be wearing a wedding ring, causing some to wonder if perhaps he and fiancée Sarah Rodriguez have already tied the knot. Adding fuel to the rumor fire is the fact that Ryan uploaded a video of Sarah driving yesterday and captioned it, “You don’t know scared until your wife drives….” Hmmmmm…
But enough with the gossip, let’s get back to Ryan’s medical issue. If you’re still asking yourself, “what is hemochromatosis exactly?” here’s a more detailed answer from The Mayo Clinic:
Hereditary hemochromatosis (he-moe-kroe-muh-TOE-sis) causes your body to absorb too much iron from the food you eat. The excess iron is stored in your organs, especially your liver, heart and pancreas. The excess iron can poison these organs, leading to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, heart arrhythmias and cirrhosis.
Many people inherit the faulty genes that cause hemochromatosis — it is the most common genetic disease in Caucasians. But only a minority of those with the genes develop serious problems. Hemochromatosis is more likely to be serious in men.
Signs and symptoms of hereditary hemochromatosis usually appear in midlife. Iron can be dropped to safe levels by regularly removing blood from your body.
UPDATE – Tamra just shared this photo and supportive message on Facebook: