Thalassemia is an inherited blood condition that causes anaemia. As a result, the patient's body lacks healthy red blood cells, which are necessary to carry oxygen around the body.
Some babies develop symptoms at birth and others show symptoms during the first two years of age. However, in some cases, babies may not produce noticeable symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of thalassaemia depend on its type and severity. Here are some common symptoms:
Thalassemia occurs due to the mutation in the DNA of cells that produce haemoglobin. This mutation can pass from one generation to another.
There are two types of thalassaemia:
There are two genes involved in making the beta-haemoglobin chain. If you inherit one mutated gene, it is called beta thalassemia minor. In this, you usually have mild symptoms. If you inherit two mutated genes, the symptoms will vary from moderate to severe and it is known as a beta thalassemia major.
Those with a moderate form of thalassaemia may experience conditions like iron overload and infection.
An iron overload situation could occur either due to the disease or frequent blood transfusions, which are needed for treatment. Too much iron in the body affects the functioning of several organs.
In the case of severe thalassaemia, a person could have bone deformities, an enlarged spleen, heart problems and/or a slow growth rate.
Usually, mild thalassaemia might not need treatment. However, you should consult your doctor. He will evaluate your child's health and based on that suggest you on the right path. But moderate and severe thalassaemia require medical attention. Here are some treatment options for thalassaemia:
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