Monday, July 15

Thalassemia : Reasons, symptoms and Treatment

Reasons of Thalassemia

Two genes are responsible for the expression of any characteristic in the body. One comes from the father, the other from the mother. If there is one good and one bad gene for hemoglobin production, less hemoglobin is produced than normal (10-50 percent). Such a patient is called thalassemia minor. Among them, the symptoms of the disease are less pronounced, so the disease is not easily diagnosed. Because they come late to the doctor. They are called thalassemia traits or carriers. And in those whose two genes are bad i.e. those whose mother and father are carriers of thalassemia, the symptoms of the disease appear in childhood and the disease can be easily diagnosed. They are called thalassemia major or thalassemia intermedia in special cases. They suffer from various problems since childhood.

There may be problems with their structure. such as Hb-E, HbC, Hb-D etc. In many cases, there may be a combination of them. But in almost all cases either the father or the mother or both are responsible. The prevalence of hemoglobin ‘E’ and hemoglobin beta thalassemia traits is high in Bangladesh.


Symptoms of Thalassemia

Symptoms of thalassemia depend on whether the disease is carried or not. There is more or less anemia among the carriers. Sometimes mild jaundice may also be present. But in thalassemia major or intermedia, there is anemia, jaundice, and an enlarged spleen. Many people think of liver problems because of symptoms of jaundice. Apart from this, children’s body growth is disturbed and frequent infections can occur. Gallstones tend to form. Complications like diabetes, heart problems, and liver cirrhosis occur due to the accumulation of excess iron in the body. Taking too much iron in carriers can lead to various complications due to excess iron accumulation in the body. Apart from that, if a carrier marries another carrier without knowing it, the lives of their children may also be threatened.


 Treatment for Thalassemia

Thalassemia treatment is inadequate and expensive. However, it is necessary to consult a hematologist for treatment. Many cases require frequent blood transfusions and iron chelation. Bone marrow transplants and gene therapy are promising as curative treatments; Although the scope of these treatments is less in our country.


Preventive measures for Thalassemia

Prevention of thalassemia requires more attention to prevent the spread of this disease. Currently, around 10-12 percent of people in the country are carriers of this disease and it will increase in the future unless we are careful.


Some suggestions for Thalassemia patients

► Thalassemia is a hereditary disease, which is preventable. But avoid marriage with the carrier of this disease and get a blood test before marriage.

► A carrier (trait) should not marry another carrier.

► Arrange for prenatal diagnosis if both mother and father are carriers.

► Do not take iron medicines without a doctor’s advice. Consult a hematologist every three to six months to avoid further iron-related complications.

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