Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder caused by faulty haemoglobin synthesis. Thalassemia
occurs when the body doesn’t make enough of a protein called hemoglobin, an important part of red blood cells. It is the most common inherited blood disorder and is widespread in Mediterranean, African, and Asian countries.
Here are five must know facts about this disorder:
- People with thalassemias can have mild or severe anemia - a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin.
- Thalassemia can also cause complications, including iron overload, bone deformities, and cardiovascular illness.
- There are two forms of thalassaemia, namely: Thalassaemia minor and Thalassaemia major. Thalassaemia minor – Also known as thalassaemia trait, patients have few problems and lead a normal life. Although thalassaemia trait are absolutely healthy and normal, some of them have very slight anaemia. Thalassaemia major – This is a very serious blood disease that begins in early childhood. In this case, patients need regular blood transfusion as they cannot make enough haemoglobin in their blood. According to medical experts, the affected children need the blood transfusion every 15-30 days for life.
- Symptoms are not visible in people with thalassemia minor. Symptoms of thalassemia major may include bone deformities, enlargement of spleen and liver, heart problems, slow growth, delayed puberty, poor appetite, jaundice, anemia, etc,.
- Since thalassemia is passed from parents to children, it can't be prevented. However, talking to a doctor or a genetic counselor for guidance before you have or father a child is important. Also, staying up to date on vaccination schedule is vital.
World Thalassemia Day is celebrated each year on May 8th to increase the awareness about this disease among common public all through the world.