Thalassemia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Options

  Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The impact of this disorder can range from minor to serious to life-threatening. Around 1 lakh newborns suffer from Thalassemia. Here are the reasons symptoms and precautions of thalassemia.

This is most common in Mediterranean South Asia and African ancestry. A patient suffering from Thalassemia will have few blood cells, low hemoglobin levels and the red blood cells may be too small. Hence, you must do the symptoms treatment and causes of thalassemia.

Causes of Thalassemia

Thalassemia occurs when there is an abnormality or mutation in one of the genes involved in hemoglobin production. If only one of your parents is a career of Thalassemia, you will develop a form of the disease known as Thalassemia minor. If this occurs you probably won’t have symptoms but you will be a carrier of this disease.

In case both your parents are Carriers of Thalassemia you have a greater chance of inheriting a more serious form of the disease. The disorder is most common in people from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Turkey.

Symptoms of Thalassemia

  • The most critical symptoms of Thalassemia is the bone deformities, especially in the facial bones.
  • Dark urine is one of the symptoms of thalassemia. Often when you go to the washroom and dark urine comes out, then you are probably affected by thalassemia.
  • Delayed growth and development. If your child is growing up at a very slow rate then there is a possibility of Thalassemia in him.
  • If you feel excessively tired and fatigue, even if you do little or no work at all then you might be affected by this disorder. Although there is a probability that it may be a symptom of something else.
  • If your skin looks Yellow or pale then you should consult a doctor and he’ll probably tell you to go and have a Thalassemia test.

Treatment of Thalassemia

If your doctor is trying to diagnose Thalassemia, they likely take a blood sample. The sample is used to test anemia and abnormal hemoglobin. The lab technician will also look at the blood under a microscope to see if the red blood cells are shaped oddly or normally. Abnormal shaped red blood cells are a sign of thalassemia.

The test separates out the different molecules in the red blood cell allowing them to identify the abnormal type. Depending on your type and severity of Thalassemia, a physical examination might also help your doctor, make a diagnosis. Some common treatments of Thalassemia a given below,

  • Blood transfusions are the most common type of treatment for this order. In this, the blood is completely flushed out from the patient’s body and the new set of blood is injected.
  • Iron therapy is used to prevent iron overload in the body due to regular blood transfusions. The red blood cell contains a significant amount of iron. If this content increases beyond the limit it causes multiple diseases. Hence, the limit should be maintained.
  • Blood and marrow stem cell transplant which replace is faulty stem cells in the person suffering from Thalassemia with healthy ones taken from a doner. Stem cells are two cells within the bone marrow that helps in the producing the red blood cells and other types of cells.

After pregnancy, to ensure the health of both you and your baby it’s important to plan ahead of time as much as possible. Discuss the entire scene with your doctor. He will calculate the probability of baby generating the disease and let you know.

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Trey Warsame

About the Author: Trey Warsame