What happens when the body produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin?-Thalassemia

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Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder characterized with a condition where the body produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin resulting in massive destruction of the red blood cells and consequently leads to anemia.
It arises as a result of either loss of key gene fragment or genetic mutation.

The transmission of oxygen in the body is through hemoglobin which is the protein molecule in red blood cells. Anemia is a condition of shortage of healthy red blood cells.

The main possible complication of thalassemia is heart failure.

 

 

Causes

The main cause of thalassemia is genetically related where there is defective genes from the parents.
A child has a higher risk of developing the condition if both parents are carriers of the disease while there is a minimal risk if only one of the parents is a carrier of the disease.

 

 

Symptoms
Presence of minor and severe anemia depending on the level of the disease in the body. fussiness
Jaundice
Enlarged organs particularly the spleen
Restricted or retarded growth
Poor eating habit
High level of paleness
Recurrent infections

 

 

Diagnosis

Physical examination of the patient is a fundamental way of diagnosing the condition. It may be followed with common diagnostic methods include:
Blood testing for anemia and abnormal hemoglobin
Hemoglobin electrophoresis test may be done to identify the various abnormal red blood cells.

 

 

Treatments options

The followings are some of the treatment options available for the disease condition:
Use of appropriate medications and supplements to enhance healthy red blood cells in the body
Blood transfusions with chelation therapy
Bone marrow transplant
Surgical intervention to remove the spleen or gallbladder
Avoid the intake of iron supplement

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