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Thalassemia

 

Thalassemia is an inherited disorder causing less than normal production of red blood cells and hemoglobin.

Causes

  • Autosomal recessive inheritance

Symptoms

Symptoms and their severity vary according to the type of thalassemia. They may not be present in mild cases. Otherwise they include:

  • Pale appearance
  • Poor appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Slow growth
  • Jaundice
  • Blood in urine
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Bone problems

Treatment

Treatment is usually not required in mild thalassemia. In other cases it may include:

  • Blood transfusion
  • Iron chelation
  • Folic acid supplements
  • Removal of the spleen
  • Bone marrow transplant

Prevention

Thalassemia cannot be prevented.