There are several types of thalassemia. This content does not have an Arabic version. In rare cases, a child born with this condition can be treated with transfusions and a stem cell transplant. Children born with the main type of thalassaemia, beta thalassaemia major, usually develop symptoms … You might not even realize you have the … If you want to have a baby, discuss this with your doctor to make sure that you’re in the best health possible. Your iron levels will need to be carefully monitored. They’ll send this sample to a lab to be tested for anemia and abnormal hemoglobin. Thalassemia intermedia is a less severe form. Symptoms of beta thalassemia include growth problems, bone abnormalities such as osteoporosis, and an enlarged spleen (the organ in the abdomen that plays a part in fighting infection). You may also consider avoiding fortified cereals, breads, and juices. Even if … The condition is classified as either alpha or beta thalassemia minor. Thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) is an inherited blood disorder that causes your body to have less hemoglobin than normal. Beta thalassemia. Facial bone deformities 5. In addition to ongoing medical care, the CDC recommends that all individuals with disorder protect themselves from infections by keeping up with the following vaccines: In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise can help manage your symptoms and lead to a more positive prognosis. Swimming and yoga are other options, and they’re also good for your joints. Thalassemia is inherited by the child from its parents. Since red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen, a reduced number of these cells means you don’t have enough oxygen in the body either. To ensure the health of both you and your baby, it’s important to plan ahead of time as much as possible. This helps remove extra iron from your body. This causes your spleen to enlarge and work harder than normal. While it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact life expectancy, the general rule is that the more severe the condition, the quicker thalassemia can become fatal. Symptoms will not show until the age of 6 months in most … It develops because of alterations in both beta globin genes. This condition develops when all four alpha globin genes are altered or missing. Smaller than expected red blood cells 3. There are two main forms of thalassemia that are more serious. While normal red blood cells live an average of 120 days, those of a person with thalassemia minor die in 30 days. Your anemia may be mild to severe. A milder form, called thalassemia intermedia, also can result from two mutated genes. Make a donation. For example, a severely enlarged spleen might suggest to your doctor that you have hemoglobin H disease. This condition is marked by a lack of oxygen being transported to tissues and organs. A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure performed to replace bone marrow that has been damaged or destroyed by disease or chemotherapy. If only one of your parents is a carrier for thalassemia, you may develop a form of the disease known as thalassemia minor. Silent carrier, which doesn't cause symptoms; An alpha thalassemia trait that can cause mild anemia; Hb H disease, which causes mild to moderately severe anemia, and an enlarged spleen (the organ that removes abnormal red blood cells from circulation) Alpha thalassemia … Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. People with thalassemia minor don’t usually have any symptoms. It’s also possible to become a carrier of thalassemia, where you only have one mutated gene and not two from both parents. How to Recognize and Treat an Anemia Rash, Everything You Need to Know About Microcytic Anemia, Blood Diseases: White and Red Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma, Hemolytic Anemia: What It Is and How to Treat It, Blood Transfusions: What to Expect and How Long They Last, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, Identifying and Treating a Yeast Rash on Your Baby’s Neck, Courtney Sullivan, Certified Yoga Instructor, beta thalassemia, which includes the subtypes major and intermedia, alpha thalassemia, which include the subtypes hemoglobin H and hydrops fetalis. Often there is mild to severe anemia … People with a Thalassemia trait in one gene are known as carriers or are said to have thalassemia minor.The only way to know if you carry the Thalassemia … Thalassemia occurs when there’s an abnormality or mutation in one of the genes involved in hemoglobin production. People who have mild or minor forms of thalassemia can typically lead normal lives. Although someone with this condition may not experience adverse symptoms… Fatigue 2. In alpha thalassemia, at least one of the alpha globin genes has a mutation or abnormality. Nonetheless, Thalassemia minor can also be kind of a pain. Prenatal testing for thalassemia may be done at 11 and 16 weeks. People with thalassemia minor don’t usually have any symptoms. Other symptoms Symptoms depend on the type and can vary from none to severe. Weakness 3. The signs and symptoms you have depend on the type and severity of your condition. This test separates out the different molecules in the red blood cells, allowing them to identify the abnormal type. But more severe forms might require regular blood transfusions. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Naturally found in foods such as dark leafy greens and legumes, this B vitamin is essential for warding off the effects of high iron levels and protecting red blood cells. Additionally, hemoglobin H disease can cause: Hydrops fetalis is an extremely severe form of thalassemia that occurs before birth. Dark urineSeveral types of thalassemia exist, including alpha-thalassemia, thalassemia intermedia and Cooley anemia. Thalassemia is often accompanied by the destruction of a large number of red blood cells. Children with beta thalassemia intermedia or major may not show any symptoms at birth, but usually develop them in the first 2 years … This means that, if you have children, they could develop some form of the gene mutation. Of the two types, thalassemia major is more severe. Depending on the type and severity of the thalassemia, a physical examination might also help your doctor make a diagnosis. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Thalassemia is most common in people from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Turkey. Anemia is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough normal, healthy red blood cells. A person who has thalassemia trait may not have any symptoms at all or may have only mild anemia, while a person with thalassemia major may have severe symptoms and may need regular … A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Thalassemia is a serious illness that can lead to life-threatening complications when left untreated or undertreated. Abnormally shaped red blood cells are a sign of thalassemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your entire body. In alpha minor cases, two genes are missing. Thalassemia minor: The individual with thalassemia minor has only one copy of the beta thalassemia gene (together with one perfectly normal beta-chain gene). Like adults, children with severe thalassemia need frequent blood transfusions to get rid of excess iron in the body. In the future, gene therapy could possibly reactivate hemoglobin and deactivate abnormal gene mutations in the body. Blood cell disorders impair the formation and function of red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Thalassemia minor is a less serious form of the disorder. The exact form you have will affect the severity of your symptoms and your outlook. A low level of red blood cells 2. AskMayoExpert. Patients with thalassemia minor are sometimes said to have “thalassemia trait,” and they are often non-symptomatic. Here's what you need to know. The shortened life span has to do with iron overload, which can eventually affect your organs. If you have mild thalassemia, you might not need treatment. Accessed Oct. 4, 2019. The symptoms of thalassemia vary depending on the type of thalassemia. If you or your child’s other parent are carriers, you should have testing done early. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of the thalassemia. If you have thalassemia minor, you are just a classifier who bears the gene for the disease but have no symptoms. Either one or both of your parents must have the condition or be a carrier of it. Red blood cells that are varied in size and shape 5. This generally involves receiving an injection of a chemical that binds with iron and other heavy metals. Baby yeast infections on the neck are a kind of skin rash that can happen to babies of any age. In beta-thalassemia, the severity of thalassemia you have depends on which part of the hemoglobin molecule is affected. Most babies with this condition are either stillborn or die shortly after being born. Disorders of hemoglobin. This type of thalassemia comes in two serious subtypes: thalassemia major (Cooley’s anemia) and thalassemia intermedia. A hemoglobin electrophoresis test is a blood test your doctor may ask you to take to screen for blood disorders. Here's why, plus some alternatives. When left untreated, this condition can lead to problems in the liver, heart, and spleen. Abstract Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and thalassemia minor are two of the most common causes of microcytic anemias worldwide. In beta thalassemia intermedia and trait this testing reveals elevati… The signs and symptoms of alpha thalassemia vary depending on the type that a child has and how severe it is. Preexisting issues with major organs are also considered. There are three main types of thalassemia (and four subtypes): All of these types and subtypes vary in symptoms and severity. Accessed Oct. 6, 2019. If both of your parents are carriers of thalassemia, you have a greater chance of inheriting a more serious form of the disease. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. 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