Did you know that your red blood cells are prone to vulnerability if there is lack of oxygen? In some cases, it may result into severe injury or death. Well, if you show symptoms of high level of fatigue, incurable jaundice, dark urine, enlarged spleen or poor growth of abnormal facial bones chances are you might be suffering from ‘Thalassemia’.
WHAT IS THALASSEMIA?
An inherited disease of red blood cells, thalassemia is highly prevalent among South East Asian and Mediterranean populace. This genetic disorder may occur right from birth due to poor hemoglobin count.
It’s difficult to know the direct symptoms of thalassemia. However, in most cases, the severity of the disease increases when there you are suffering from anemia (shortage of red blood cells) or low hemoglobin count.
WHOM TO CONSULT?
Make sure to get yourself thoroughly diagnosed and treated from a highly experienced ‘Hematologist’.
WHAT ARE TYPES OF THALASSEMIA?
Thalassemia occurs because of anemia, which may low, mild or severe. It is caused by missing genes that build the hemoglobin counts, which is either due to alpha and beta globin chains.
If missing alpha globin chains causes it, it is referred as ‘Alpha Thalassemia’. While, if missing beta globin chains causes it, it is called as ‘Beta Thalassemia’. In severe cases, it is called Cooley’s anemia.
WHAT TYPE OF TESTS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN?
To know whether you are suffering from thalassemia or not, there are different types of tests for accurate diagnosis. These include:
- A Complete blood count (CBC)
- Special hemoglobin studies
- Iron deficiency level tests
- Family Genetic Studies
- Pre-natal testing
The following are the different treatments available for thalassemic?
- Blood Transfusions
- Gene therapy
- Folic Acid Intake
- Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant
- Fetal hemoglobin
- Iron Chelation Therapy
FOLIC ACID: A PERFECT DIET
It is of utmost importance for thassalemia patients to increase the intake of folic acid in the form of supplements or natural diet. A type Vitamin b-9, is necessary for cell replication and its growth.
Folic acid is present in foods such as beans, beetroots, milk, leafy vegetables like spinach, fruits (oranges and bananas), whole wheat bread, meat and others.
Depending upon the treatment and other factors, one must increase iron intake and Vitamin B considerably. Ideally, meat is the best diet for thalassemia patients. It can be red meat, lamb, beef, chicken, liver and pork. In spite of red meat, you could opt for soy proteins. If you like chicken, go in for white part of the chicken, which contains more iron.
Besides meat products, it is essentially necessary to balance your diet with variety of dairy products, fruits, underground and leafy vegetables, eggs and cereals.
In order, to make iron absorbable faster in the body, make sure that your diet includes a lot of milk or dairy products. Try to drink a glass of milk with your meals or use it while cooking your curries or snacks.