ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Life Sciences

Thalassemia is a preventable disease

Updated on August 29, 2014

What is Thalassemia?

Thalassemia is an inherited autosomal recessive blood disorder that is originated from Mediterranean region. It is otherwise known as Mediterranean anemia. It is caused by variants or missing genes that affect how the body makes hemoglobin. As this disease is inherited, meaning that at least one of the parents must be a carrier of the disease for the person to have thalassemia.

For your information, hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells which is responsible to carry oxygen. It is made of two proteins: Alpha globin and beta globin. Thalassemia occurs when there is a defect in a gene that helps control production of one of these proteins.There are 2 main forms of Thalassemia: Alpha-thalassemia .and Beta-thalassemia. In alpha thalassemia, at least one of the alpha globin genes has a mutation or abnormality. In beta thalassemia, the beta globin genes are the ones affected. This mutated forms of hemoglobin is easily destructed in the blood circulation,thus leads to anemia (lack of red blood cells)

These alpha & beta- thalassemia can further be classified to thalassemia major and thalassemia minor. For a person to has thalassemia major,she/he must inherit the gene defect from both parent. This is a severe form of thalassemia, in which the person requires regular and almost monthly blood transfusion. Whereas,the thalassemia minor occurs if he/she receives the faulty gene from only one parent. So this person is known as thalassemia carrier and most of the time,he/she does not have symptoms.

Source
Source
Source

Symptoms and signs of thalassemia

Patient with beta-thalassemia major usually presented with severe anemia during the first year of life. They are usually normal at birth due to the presence of fetal hemoglobin, which subsequently reduced at the end of 6 months old.

  • However, during the first year or two of life, they become pale and fussy with poor appetite. They grow slowly and often develop jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). Without treatment, they will develop an enlarged spleen and liver, thinning bones that break easily, abnormal facial bones, frequent infections and heart problems, and they die in the first decade of life.
  • When detected early, the affected children will require regular blood transfusions and folate supplementation lifelong as the treatment. Bone marrow transplants promise cure to patients with beta-thalassemia major. However, this treatment is possible only for a small minority of patients who have a suitable bone marrow donor. The transplant procedure itself is still risky and can result in death.

Alpha thalassemia major is the most severe form of thalassemia. It occurs when there are no alpha globin genes.This is also known as hydops fetalis. It occurs before birth, and most fetuses with this condition are either stillborn or die shortly after being born.

However,patient with alpha and beta-thalassemia minor/trait usually have no symptoms, though some may have mild anemia. Affected individuals can pass the abnormal gene on to their offspring.

Source
Source

Why thalassemia is a preventable disease?

As we all know, children with thalassemia are born to parents who carry abnormal thalassemia gene in their blood. There are many blood tests and family genetic studies which can show whether an individual has any form of thalassemia. There are also prenatal testing using chorionic venous sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis to detect or rule out thalassemia in the fetus.

However, the best preventive step of all is of course to ensure that all man & women who want to get marry to get themselves tested and screened for thalassemia before getting married. By knowing the genetic testing result,one maybe able to avoid the pitiful consequences

  • For example, if the man and woman who plan to get married and do genetic testing and known to be thalassemia carriers, both will have chance to produce a child with Thalassemia Major that is blood transfusion dependent child. Obviously,they can think and decide whether to continue with the marriage or not.
  • On the other hand, Thalassemia minor children will be born if one of the parents being a Thalassemia carrier,thus will transfer the abnormal gene to the off spring
  • If both man & woman are tested to be free from thalassemia, there is no risk of getting thalassemia kids when they get married

Therefore,it's always wise to decide on correct partner before getting married. Every child inherits genes from mother & father good as well as bad one. Be wise. Preventive is better than cure.

Source

Have you being tested for thalassemia?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)