Thalassemia is a medical condition that is described as an inherited genetic blood disorder in which abnormal hemoglobin is formed. If both the parents are diagnosed to be the carriers of thalassemia then the children are at high risk of acquiring a serious form of it. Alpha and beta thalassemia are the two major forms. Due to abnormal hemoglobin formation, there will be destruction of red blood cells which leads to anemia.
Causes of Thalassemia:
The hemoglobin is formed by two major proteins called alpha and beta globin. When there is a defect in the gene that produces these proteins, thalassemia occurs. There are two major types of thalassemia, Alpha thalassemia and Beta thalassemia.
Alpha thalassemia is prevalent in people from south East Asia, Middle East, china and Africa. Beta thalassemia is found among people of Mediterranean origin.
The symptoms are according to the type of thalassemia acquired,
The major treatment of thalassemia is blood transfusion and taking folate supplements regularly. When the blood transfusion is done on a regular basis, intake of iron tablets must be stopped because it can cause dangerous effects due to the build-up of too much iron in the blood.
Those people who receive more blood transfusions must need a therapy called ‘Chelation therapy’ in order to remove excess iron. Now a day’s bone marrow transplants are becoming more successful and it is done in severe cases of thalassemia mainly in children’s.