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What is Thalassemia? Check Symptoms and Causes

New Delhi: Thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh), is an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to have less haemoglobin than normal. The red blood cells carry oxygen with the help of  Hemoglobin. Thalassemia can result anemia, leaving you fatigued.

It is said that if you have mild thalassemia, you may not require the treatment. However, some severe forms might require regular blood transfusions.

What are the symptoms of Thalassemia?

Thalassemia are of several types. Some of the signs and symptoms of Thalassemia are-

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Facial bone deformities
  • Slow growth
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Dark urine

What are the Causes of Thalassemia?

It is said that Thalassemia is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells that creates haemoglobin. Thalassemia can only be passed to the children through their parents.

Due to the mutations, the Hemoglobin molecules can be affected. The Haemoglobin is made up of chains called alpha and beta chains. When an individual is suffering from thalassemia, the production either alpha or the beta chains are reduced, resulting to either alpha-thalassemia or beta-thalassemia.

Thalassemia

Thalassemia

What are the risk factors of Thalassemia?

Factors that may increase the risk of thalassemia include:

If someone in the family is suffering or have suffered from thalassemia. Thalassemia is passed from parents to children through mutated hemoglobin genes.

Thalassemia basically occurs in African Americans and in people of Mediterranean and Southeast Asian descent.

How can it be prevented?

In most of Thalassemia cases, it can’t be prevent. In case you have thalassemia, or you carry thalassemia gene you must talk to a genetic counselor for guidance in case you want to have kids.

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