Friday, February 22 2019
Health

Symptoms and Types of Thalassemia You Need to Beware

Blood disorders can cause various disorders in the body ranging from mild to severe, including thalassemia. This condition is a hereditary disease caused by the mutation of DNA from the cells that make up hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin is a part of red blood cells that functions as a carrier of oxygen in the blood. This mutation causes the production of red blood cells in the body to be less than they should.

Although in mild conditions this disease does not require treatment, in more severe conditions people with thalassemia may need regular blood transfusions. So that you are more alert, let's know more about the types and symptoms here.

What are the Types of Thalassemia?

To form hemoglobin, the body needs two proteins, alpha and beta. When the levels of both proteins are insufficient, the function of red blood cells as oxygen carriers in the body can be disrupted.

If thalassemia is experienced due to lack of alpha hemoglobin production, the condition is called alpha thalassemia. Whereas, beta thalassemia is caused due to lack of beta hemoglobin production in the body.

In order not to be confused in distinguishing it, you can see the explanation below:

1. Alpha Thalassemia

To form alpha hemoglobin, your body needs four genes from both father and mother. If three of the four genes do not form or mutate, it can cause Hemoglobin H.

This disease is one type of alpha thalassemia that can cause bone disorders. So, there is a growth abnormality (deformity) of the cheekbones, forehead, and jaw.

Another type of alpha thalassemia is hydrops fetalis. This condition is a type of thalassemia that is severe and has been formed since the baby is still in the womb.

Most of the babies who experience this condition are born when they die or die soon after birth. This disease can occur because all four hemoglobin alpha genes do not form or mutate.

2. Beta thalassemia

To form beta hemoglobin, the body needs each of the genes inherited from both parents. When the beta hemoglobin gene is not well formed, the major type of beta thalassemia appears.

Thalassemia major generally occurs before a child is two years old. This condition can also cause severe anemia that can be life threatening.

Symptoms and signs that appear in this situation include children who appear pale, often attacked by infection, loss of appetite, and the skin and white part of the eyes turn yellow. Not infrequently, sufferers need regular blood transfusions.

Another type is intermedia thalassemia which occurs because of a mutation in both beta hemoglobin genes. Because it is not as severe as thalassemia major, patients with intermedia thalassemia rarely need blood transfusions.

Another type of thalassemia is minor thalassemia. If you experience this condition, you will only experience symptoms such as mild anemia. Minor thalassemia can occur in alpha or beta thalassemia.

Common symptoms that occur in people with Thalassemia

The symptoms felt by people with thalassemia can vary depending on the type. Generally, symptoms of beta thalassemia and some new alpha thalassemia will appear after a 6 month old baby.

In addition to skin that looks pale and yellowing, other symptoms that can be experienced by people with thalassemia include chest pain, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and cold hands and feet.

Patients with thalassemia can also experience bone abnormalities as a result of the body's efforts to produce more bone marrow. Some types of thalassemia can also cause abnormalities in the organs in the body.

Thalassemia cannot be considered careless. If not addressed immediately, complications of this disease can cause severe organ damage. Therefore, if you feel the symptoms as above, you should immediately consult a doctor.

References
Thalassemia Treatment and Complications, https://webdailyhealth.com/health/condition/thalassemia-treatment-and-complications

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