Thursday, July 05, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Thalassemia is a genetic (inherited) blood disorder. A patient with the disorder produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
Thalassemia destroys red blood cells, which causes anemia, a condition where the body lacks a healthy level of normal and healthy red blood cells. The disorder is caused by either a genetic mutation or the deletion of crucial gene fragments.
There are three types of thalassemia:
Alpha thalassemia – The first main type of the disorder, alpha thalassemia occurs when the body is unable to produce alpha globin. There are two types of alpha thalassemia:
Beta thalassemia – The second main type of the disorder, beta thalassemia occurs when the body is unable to create beta globin. There are two serious subtypes for this form of the disorder:
Thalassemia minor – The third form of the disorder which is less severe. Most of the time, patients with thalassemia minor don’t experience any symptoms. However, symptoms may include minor anemia.
The major symptoms of thalassemia usually include:
Other symptoms of the disorder may include:
Patients with hemoglobin H or thalassemia intermedia have small red blood cells with no symptoms.
Risk factors for thalassemia may include:
Thalassemia may cause the following complications:
The following foods or nutrients can help prevent thalassemia or address its symptoms:
Treatment for thalassemia may depend on the type and severity of disease that a patient has. Consult a healthcare professional to determine the best kind of treatment for your condition.
Treatments for thalassemia can include:
Some patients may be advised to stop taking vitamins or supplements that contain iron, especially if they require blood transfusions. This can help prevent iron overload since individuals who receive blood transfusions also receive extra iron that may build up in the body. Iron can build up in tissues and this can be potentially fatal.
Patients who receive blood transfusions may also require chelation therapy. This involves receiving an injection of a chemical that binds with iron and other heavy metals to remove excess iron from your body.
Thalassemia is a genetic (inherited) blood disorder. A patient with the disorder produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin.
The major symptoms of thalassemia usually include anemia or stillbirth.
Thalassemia may cause complications like heart failure, liver problems, and infections or iron overload.
Treatments for thalassemia can include blood transfusions, bone marrow transplant, medications and supplements, or surgery to remove the spleen or gallbladder.
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