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Thalassemia

It is an inherited blood disorder that causes your body to make less hemoglobin or abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps red blood cells spread oxygen through your body. Low levels of hemoglobin may cause anemia, an illness that makes you feel weak and tired. Severe anemia can damage organs and lead to death.

 

Types of Thalassemia

  • Beta Thalassemia
  • Alpha Thalassemia

Symptoms of Thalassemia

The symptoms of thalassemia can vary. Some of the most common ones include:
  • Bone deformities, especially in the face
  • Dark urine
  • Delayed growth and development
  • Excessive tiredness and fatigue
  • Yellow or pale skin
Not everyone has visible symptoms of thalassemia. Signs of the disorder also tend to show up later in childhood or adolescence.

 

What Causes Thalassemia

Thalassemia occurs when there’s an abnormality or mutation in one of the genes involved in hemoglobin production. You inherit this genetic defect from your parents. If only one of your parents is a carrier for thalassemia, you may develop a form of the disease known as thalassemia minor.
If this occurs, you probably won’t have symptoms, but you’ll be a carrier of the disease. Some people with thalassemia minor do develop minor symptoms.
If both of your parents are carriers of thalassemia, you have a greater chance of inheriting a more serious form of the disease.

 

Treatment Options for Thalassemia

  • Some of the treatments include
  • Blood transfusions
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Medications and supplements
  • Possible surgery to remove the spleen or the gall bladder.