Thalassemia is basically an inherited blood disorder that causes your body to make less hemoglobin than normal. Low levels of hemoglobin cause anemia leaving you fatigued. Severe anemia can damage organs and lead to death.
This disease results in massive destruction of red blood cells which leads to anemis causing blood loss. Thalassemia is caused due to mutations in the DNA of the cells that make hemoglobin. However, the recessive trait may pass on to the next generation and the offspring may develop Thalassemia major.
Types of Thalassemia:
- Alpha Thalassemia
- Beta Thalassemia
This type of Thalassemia develop when one or more of the four alpha globin genes that make hemoglobin are missing or damaged.
This type of Thalassemia develops when your body is unable to produce beta globin. Two genes one from each parent are inherited to make beta globin.
What causes Thalassemia?
Defect in one or more gene s causes Thalassemia. If a parent or any of the sibling carry a gene for Thalassemia, you may talk to your genetic counselor before yoy get pregnant.
Symptoms of Thalassemia:
- Short of breath
- Pale skin
- Slow growth
- Bone deformities
- Abdominal swelling
- Dark urine
How is Thalassemia diagnosed?
- A complete blood count CBC
- A gene test to see if you have the genes that cause Thalassemia.
- An iron level test
- A blood test which helps to find out whioch type of Thalassemia you have.
How Thalassemia is treated?
- Thalassemia treatment depends on the severity of your condition.
- Mild Thalassemia doed not need any treatment.
- Moderate Thalassemia imay be treated with blood transfusions and folic acid supplements.
- Severe Thalassemia is treated with Blood transfusions and again folic acid supplement intake.
If you have repeated blood transfusions, it is possible that your body get too much of iron, this can damage your organs. So make sure to avoid vitamins that contain iron, and don’t take extra vitamin C, which can increase how much iron you absorb from food. In this case your doctor may give you CHELATION THERAPY.
Less common treatments for severe Thalassemia include:
- A blood or bone marrow STEM CELL TRANSPLANT.
- Surgery to remove spleen.