West Dunbartonshire’s MP is raising awareness of an illness dubbed the “Celtic Curse” which affects hundreds of people in the area.

Genetic condition haemochromatosis is a disorder which causes the body to absorb too much iron and can lead to serious health issues including cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue and damage to the heart or liver.

In the House of Commons, Martin Docherty-Hughes outlined the experiences of Davie McAleer from Clydebank who was diagnosed with heredity haemochromatosis along with other members of his family, including his mother and brother.

Anyone affected by associated symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue and loss of sex drive is advised to speak with their doctor.

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Genetic haemochromatosis can be difficult to spot, but diagnosis and treatment is relatively straightforward following a routine blood test.

Mr Docherty-Hughes said: “An estimated 350 people in West Dunbartonshire are affected by the condition, but that number is likely to be much higher due to the number of families here from Irish descent.

“Early diagnosis is key to treating haemochromatosis and its long-term impact on other areas of healthcare provision - I know that first hand because I have close family members affected by the condition.

“The evidence we’ve heard suggests a lot more can be done to better educate the public and medical professionals about this still relatively unknown genetic disorder.”