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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is thalassemia?
Thalassemia is the name given to a group of hereditary red blood cell disorders that involve hemoglobin production. People with thalassemia have red blood cells that are poorly formed with a shortened life span. This requires people with the condition to have regular …
What are the symptoms of thalassemia?
Signs and symptoms of thalassemia can include weakness, fatigue, jaundice (yellow coloring of skin), enlargement of organs, slow growth, failure to thrive, dark urine, abdominal swelling, and deformities of facial bones.
What causes thalassemia?
Thalassemia is a hereditary condition caused by gene mutations passed on from one or both of your parents.
Who gets thalassemia?
Thalassemia can affect both men and women. It is a hereditary condition that is passed down from one or both of your parents. Ethnicity can also be a risk factor: Alpha thalassemia is more common among people of Asian descent, while beta thalassemia is more common …
How is thalassemia diagnosed?
Thalassemia is diagnosed by blood tests. A full blood examination can be performed to check the levels of different components of blood. Hemoglobin electrophoresis is a test that measures the amounts of different forms of hemoglobin in blood. DNA analysis can …
Are there different types of thalassemia?
Depending on the number and type of mutated genes or deleted genes, varying types of thalassemia are caused. Either alpha globin or beta globin - the components required to make hemoglobin - can be affected. There are multiple forms of each …
How is thalassemia treated?
The treatment of thalassemia depends on the type and severity of the condition. No treatment is required for carriers of alpha thalassemia or beta thalassemia minor. Hemoglobin H disease and beta thalassemia major are treated with regular blood transfusions. …
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.9 out of 5
Votes: 1388 (Click smiley face below to rate)
Category: Cystic fibrosis