Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
When we talk about different “types” of thalassemia, We might be talking about one of two things : the specific part of hemoglobin that is affected (usually either “alpha” or “beta”), or the severity of Thalassemia, which is noted by words like trait, carrier, intermedia, or major.
Slowed growth rates. Anemia can both slow a child's growth and delay puberty.
Hemoglobin molecules are made of chains called alpha and beta chains that can be affected by mutations. In Thalassemia, the production of either the alpha or beta chains are reduced, resulting in either alpha-thalassemia or beta-thalassemia. Beta thalassemia major is also called Cooley anemia.
Thalassemia Signs and Symptoms can include :
Pale or Yellowish Skin
Facial Bone Deformities
Some of the Treatments include :
Bone Marrow Transplant
Medications and Supplements
Possible surgery to remove the spleen or Gallbladder
There are Two main types of Thalassemia :
Alpha Thalassemia : occurs when a gene or genes related to the alpha globin protein are missing or changed (mutated).
Beta Thalassemia : occurs when similar gene defects affect production of the beta globin protein.
Risk Factors for Thalassemia include :
Family History of Thalassemia : Thalassemia is passed from parents to children through mutated hemoglobin genes.
Certain Ancestry : Thalassemia occurs most often in African Americans and in people of Mediterranean and Southeast Asian descent.