Thalassemia is a hereditary blood disorder transmitted from parental genes to a child. There is no known cure or precautionary measures for this disease because of its hereditary transmission. This condition is caused due to some irregularities in the blood of the carrier. Blood essentially contains WBC, RBC, Plasma, and platelets. Hemoglobin in RBC helps it to carry oxygen from the lungs to other body parts. Thalassemia causes fewer RBC and hemoglobin counts, which results in lower oxygen carried to the body parts. There are two types of Thalassemia
- Alpha Thalassemia
- Beta Thalassemia
Hemoglobin is made up of four subunits, two subunits of alpha-globin and two subunits of another type of globin. Alpha thalassemia affects the production of alpha globin protein chains.
For alpha globin protein chains, you inherit four genes from your parents, the two from each parent. If any of these genes is defective, it may result in Alpha Thalassemia. The number of defective genes depicts how bad your health condition is.
One Defected Alpha: This condition is also called Alpha thalassemia minima. Usually, at this stage, it doesn’t show any symptoms.
Two defected Alpha: This condition is also called Alpha thalassemia minor in this condition. There may be a chance you will experience symptoms, but it will mostly be mild.
Three Defected Alpha: This condition is also called Hemoglobin H disease. You may feel a moderate to severe health condition.
Four Defected Alpha: This condition is called hydrops fetalis with hemoglobin Barts. This is a severe condition that may result in death, too. You need better treatment for this. Get better treatment from a clinical hematology hospital.
For beta globin protein chains, you inherit two genes from your parents: one gene from each parent. If any of these genes are defective, it may result in beta Thalassemia. The number of genes defective depicts how bad your health condition is.
One Defected Beta: In this case, you will experience mild symptoms
Two Defected Beta: In this case, you will experience moderate to severe symptoms
Thalassemia diagnosis includes a complete blood test and specific Hemoglobin tests. Moderate or severe Thalassemia is usually diagnosed in early childhood. Prenatal testing can also be done to diagnose Thalassemia.
Mild anemia conditions do not usually require any treatments. But in moderate or severe Anemia conditions, you must undergo treatments like blood transfusions, iron chelation therapy, and folic acid supplements. The other treatments include bone marrow and stem cell transplants.
The treatment of Thalassemia has improved a lot in recent years. If you are diagnosed with mild or moderate Thalassemia, follow the treatment guidelines correctly to lead a quality life ahead.
With Severe conditions, there are frequent doctor visits, and their treatment plans are necessary.
Symptoms of Thalassemia
Anemia is the main sign and symptom of Thalassemia.
In mild and moderate conditions of Anemia. Its symptoms include;
- Slowed growth and development
- Delayed development
In severe cases, the symptoms include;
- Dark Urine
- Enlarged spleen, liver, and heart
- Bone issues. Especially face bone
- Pale and dull skin
The stem cell transplant is the way for the permanent cure of Thalassemia. But to get an apt donor who matches with the patient is challenging. A proper monitoring and treatment routine is necessary if you have mild or severe thalassemia symptoms. Not taking care of the symptoms of severe Thalassemia may cause organ damage, even if it is a life-threatening health condition. So, get proper treatment from the best clinical hematology hospital.