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Thalassemia Health Feed

World Thalassemia Day - Why It Is Celebrated?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
World Thalassemia Day - Why It Is Celebrated?

Thalassaemia is one of the most difficult hereditary diseases to live with. Even though there is no cure, parents can prevent their child from being born with this terrible disease if they are careful. Thalassemia is a blood illness. It is an inherited disorder. If even one parent is a carrier of thalassemia, the child will be born with this blood disorder. Our blood contains haemoglobin - a protein molecule. It carries oxygen to all parts of the body. But some people are born with an unnatural form of haemoglobin or certain important fragments of their gene are deleted. This destroys healthy red blood cells and thalassemia sets in.

However, preventing the spread of disease in the world has proven difficult due to the lack of proper awareness about the condition. This is why the World Health Organization established May 8th as World Thalassaemia Day.

Importance of World Thalassaemia Day

World Thalassemia Day is celebrated on 8th May, every year. It is also a day when the medical organizations around the world come together to plan and raise awareness about the disease. Camps are set up in various cities and villages to educate people about the dangers of Thalassaemia and teach them about prevention measures of it. 
It has a two-fold purpose. Firstly, on this day, we commemorate the people who lost their lives to thalassemia but are still cherished in our hearts. Secondly, this day is all about spreading awareness regarding this illness and extending support to people who have been diagnosed with thalassemia. The more people know about thalassemia, the more equipped they would be to deal with the illness. And eventually, the world will be able to eradicate this disease. With that in mind, let us understand thalassemia better.

Aside from spreading awareness, there are other important reasons for celebrating World Thalassaemia Day. These include - 

  1. To motivate healthy people in the world to donate blood regularly in order to reduce the suffering of patients of Thalassaemia
  2. Motivating doctors to take care of the special needs of such patients
  3. Motivating people suffering from the disease to undergo treatment, as soon as they can, to reduce complications
  4. To motivate the government of various countries around the world to build better health care facilities for people suffering from Thalassaemia
  5. To reduce Thalassaemia related deaths around the globe

What are the symptoms of thalassemia?
Thalassemia has some distinctive symptoms. They may vary from one individual to the next but every patient experiences a combination of these symptoms-

  • Deformities of bones, noticeable especially in the face
  • Pale skin
  • A slow rate of growth of the child
  • Constant fatigue
  • Darkish urine
  • Infections
  • Appetite loss

The symptoms usually manifest in late childhood or early adolescence.

Treatment of thalassemia - The most widely-prescribed mode of treatment is blood transfusion and intake of iron supplements so that your body has enough haemoglobin. At the same time, you will undergo chelation to drain the extra iron from your body. A bone marrow transplant can treat thalassemia in children.

Some of the utilized treatments include:

  • blood transfusions
  • a bone marrow transplant (BMT)
  • medications and supplements
  • possible surgery to remove the spleen or gallbladder

This World Thalassemia Day let us promise to get tested before we have children and do everything in our capacity to help those who have to live with the illness.

What Kind Of Diet Works Best For People With Thalassemia?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
What Kind Of Diet Works Best For People With Thalassemia?

Thalassemia is a blood illness that destroys haemoglobin in the blood. Unless managed properly, thalassemia can be fatal. Keeping the disease under control involves not just blood transfusion, folate intake and chelation therapy but also diet. What the patients eat has an impact on how well their bodies will respond to treatment.

Diet for thalassemia patients
Thalassemia can trigger nutritional deficiency illnesses, haemolytic anaemia, diabetes and iron build-up (because of regular blood transfusion and intake of iron supplements). So thalassemia patients have to be very particular about the foods they eat to prevent any of these complications setting in. Their diet should be a mix of the following-

Patients who do not require blood transfusion are recommended 1 mg of folate consumption every day and a low-iron diet. People who require blood transfusion and chelation therapy (which removes the excess iron from the blood) are advised to lay off iron-rich foods. Here are some nutrients that all thalassemia patients need-

  1. Protein - Growth and development slow down in children with thalassemia, which is why they need protein. But some sources of protein are high in iron too which must be avoided. Good protein sources- cheese, yoghurt, soy products, beans, eggs and nuts. Sources of protein to avoid- red meat like goat, lamb and liver.
  2. Vitamin D and calcium - Thalassemia causes bone problems like unnatural bone structure especially of the skull, widening of bones, loss of bone density and joint pain. To keep these problems in check, high calcium and vitamin D diet is recommended. Sources of calcium- milk and dairy products like cheese and curd, soy products, calcium-enriched cereals. Sources of Vitamin D- egg yolks, cheese, fatty fishes and Vitamin D supplements. Early morning sunlight is the best source of this Vitamin.
  3. Trace minerals - Copper, zinc and selenium are essential for protein and DNA synthesis. They are vital for the healthy growth of cells. They also regulate the function of different hormones. Thalassemia can trigger a deficiency of these trace minerals. Sources of zinc- whole grains and all milk products. Sources of copper- nuts, seeds, mushrooms, dark chocolate, legumes and eggs. Sources of selenium- chicken, turkey, dairy products and whole grains.
  4. Antioxidants - People who require frequent blood transfusion experience oxidative stress, which can damage cells and cause severe health complications such as diabetes and cancer. To remove free radicals from the body, antioxidants that can counter oxidative stress are necessary. Antioxidants also boost the body’s immune system and help reduce the likelihood of infections (thalassemia patients are at risk of many infections). Vitamin E and Vitamin C are powerful antioxidants. Sources of Vitamin C- oranges, guava, cauliflower, papaya and strawberries. Sources of Vitamin E- nuts, seeds, sunflower oil, broccoli.

Foods to avoid

Certain foods that are rich in iron must be avoided to prevent liver and heart problems-

  • Watermelon
  • Dates and raisins
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Red meat

With a careful diet, thalassemia patients can live a normal life and increase their life expectancy. Avoid iron-rich foods and follow your dietician's instructions and you can be quite healthy.

Guide To Living Healthily With Thalassemia!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri
Guide To Living Healthily With Thalassemia!

Thalassemia is a grave blood disorder. That is why people who have been diagnosed with it need to be extra careful with how they live their lives. The focus is on always making healthy lifestyle choices. This improves the quality of their lives, helps manage the disorder and will have a less detrimental impact on their lifespan.

  1. Keep the illness under control - With proper care and intervention, thalassemia can be managed efficiently. To continue being healthy, thalassemia patients must opt for regular blood transfusions and chelation therapy. Since thalassemia depletes the haemoglobin content of blood and the body becomes starved of oxygen, fresh blood through transfusion provides the body with the haemoglobin it needs. Simultaneously, patients need folate therapy (iron supplements). Chelation therapy too is a must to remove the extra iron that builds up due to blood transfusion and folate intake. Otherwise, the excess iron may damage the liver and cause a heart attack. Do not miss any appointment with you haematologist or any therapy session.

  2. Vaccination for immunization - People with thalassemia are prone to infections and precautions are necessary to prevent them. Otherwise, complications might arise. A few vaccines that every thalassemia patient needs-

Keep tabs on vaccination schedules and ask your doctor if booster shots are needed.

  • Exercising - Thalassemia can be weakening and many people with this blood disorder find high-intensity workout difficult. But moderate exercise is highly recommended for them. Exercise improves blood circulation and even improves immunity. Here are a few exercises that thalassemia patients should try-

  1. Bicycling
  2. Jogging
  3. Brisk walking
  4. Swimming
  5. Yoga
  • Diet - Diet is as important as exercising in keeping the thalassemia patient healthy. But they have to be very cautious about what they eat and it is best to consult a doctor and a dietician to plan a meal routine. Since blood transfusion and iron supplements result in a lot of iron entering the body, it is best to limit your intake of iron through foods. Avoid cereals and fruit juices that are fortified with iron, spinach, meat and all other foods that are rich in iron.

  • Support network - Having a group of loving people around you is crucial for psychological health. The stress generated by having to live with thalassemia, the frequent trip to the doctor’s clinic, the blood transfusion sessions and uncertainty over the future can bring on anxiety and depression.

Having a strong support system can help in many ways-

  • They can accompany you to the clinic
  • Your family or friends can remind you to take your medicines on time
  • You can unburden yourself by talking to them about your fears

When the thalassemia patient enters a sexual relationship, the use of contraceptive devices is recommended to prevent HIV or any sexually transmitted disease that can cause complications in thalassemia management.

Thalassemia need not affect the quality of your life. With a few measures, you can live a normal happy life.

I am suffering from beta thalassemia. My husband is not suffering from thalesmia. Is there any possibility that new born child suffering from thalesmia.

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
I am suffering from beta thalassemia. My husband is not suffering from thalesmia. Is there any possibility that new b...
If you have thalassemia and your partner carries the trait for thalassemia, there is a chance that your baby may inherit the disease. A genetic counsellor can explain the risks to you and your partner, and offer you testing options to determine if the unborn baby has been affected. Let's have a detailed discussion for better advice and healthy lifestyle.
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Hi, I have beta thalassemia and my hb remains around 10. However due to my job requirements I need to have hb more than 12. How can I ensure during checkup that my hb remains above 12?

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
Hi,
I have beta thalassemia and my hb remains around 10. However due to my job requirements I need to have hb more th...
A lack of beta-globin leads to a reduced amount of functional hemoglobin. Without sufficient hemoglobin, red blood cells do not develop normally, causing a shortage of mature red blood cells. The low number of mature red blood cells leads to anemia and other associated health problems. Let's discuss your concern in detail for better advice and medication plan.
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Sir, Ham chittor ke begu me rahtey sir mera bacha 10 mahinhe ka he ushko theleshmiya bimari he 15 din ke andar blood ki jarurat ho ti he shi she upchar nhe ho rha he sir, Please help.

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
Sir, Ham chittor ke begu me rahtey sir mera bacha 10 mahinhe ka he ushko theleshmiya bimari he 15 din ke andar blood ...
Gambheer maamalon ke lie sabase aam upachaar lakshanon ko raahat dene ke lie niyamit roop se rakt sankraman hai, jo jeevan ke lie jaaree rahata hai aur isake dushprabhaav hote hain. thaileseemiya ke lie vartamaan mein upalabdh ekamaatr ilaaj ek asthi majja pratyaaropan hai, jo keval rogiyon ke ek chhote se anupaat ke lie sambhav hai. behatar salaah aur dava yojana ke lie apanee samasya par vistaar se charcha karen.
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Diagnosed as a beta thalassemia of age 50 years male in year jan 2000, my hb level hangs between 10-10. 4 mg% presently advise to take folic acid o/day (0.5 mg).mild hepatomegaly. asymmetric wt-72 kg. Ht-165 cm. Cbc tested & report available with me, feels exertion 7 tiredness during prolong work & stepping stairs .please advised is there any medical cure?

DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery)
Homeopathy Doctor, Delhi
Diagnosed as a beta thalassemia of age 50 years male in year jan 2000, my hb level hangs between 10-10. 4 mg% present...
Dear Lybrate user, you should take homeopathic treatment as soon as possible for complete and better relief. Because homeopathic medicines will treat deranged digestion, blood circulation and other disturbed system also after detailed case taking of patient. And for more suggestions and homeopathic treatment you may contact us.
1 person found this helpful
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Mam I did my other test of liver that direct brilubin and indirect and I am thalassemia trait patient and hn is 10.2 and thyroid problem too and recticylte is 2.8. Please help me to cure my problems.

MBBS, Basic Life Support (B.L.S), Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
General Physician, Delhi
Mam I did my other test of liver that direct brilubin and indirect and I am thalassemia trait patient and hn is 10.2 ...
Since you are going through more than one ailment treatment hence need a detailed discussion to understand each issue with your test reports and for thyroid disorders stemming from the over- or under-production of thyroid hormones, you want to try to restore the hormone levels to their proper balance. Hyperthyroidism needs treatment that will slow down the making of thyroid hormone, while hypothyroidism needs hormone replacement. Drugs and surgery are usually effective ways to adjust hormone levels. Other treatments, including diet supplements, herbal remedies, and special exercises, may relieve some of the discomfort and help the thyroid gland work better.
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