In this article, we’ll be covering all the points on what Thalassemia is, its types and how you can prevent it from being passed on to your child.
What is Thalassemia?
One of the most occurrent genetic disorders, Thalassemia is a blood disorder inherited by parents, causing an abnormal haemoglobin production. How severe it is depend on how many of the genes are missing.
There are two kinds of Thalassemia :
- Alpha Thalassemia (four genes)
- Beta Thalassemia (two genes)
Beta Thalassemia is the most common one and is further divided into Thalassemia Major and Thalassemia Minor.
Thalassemia Major: A child suffering from it has two beta genes but no normal beta-chain gene. In the beginning, the child seems perfectly normal. But within the first few months, Anemia begins developing. It keeps on growing with time. The infant is not able to grow in a natural way and cannot be easily fed. The child also suffers from high and constant fever, diarrhoea and various intestinal problems. This all happens due to improper reach of oxygen in the body. Even if one parent has it, there are high chances of child suffering from Thalassemia Major.
Thalassemia Minor: A child suffering from it has one beta gene and one normal beta-chain gene. The child suffers from mild Anemia but normal blood iron level. It doesn’t require a treatment. But if both parents have it, chances are high that there can be complications for his/her child.
How to detect it
The symptoms depend on the type of Thalassemia present in the body.
It often causes Anemia, i.e., low blood cell count (varying from mild to severe) resulting in tiredness and pale skin.
It also causes bone issues in the body, enlarged spleen, infection, iron overload, heart problems, yellow skin, dark urine and slow growth in children.
How to prevent your child from suffering from Thalassemia
The only way to protect your child from Thalassemia is a Prenatal Test.
Firstly, before starting a family, it is the duty of potential parents to get themselves checked completely.
Also, a check of family history is also necessary to ensure nobody in either parent’s family has suffered from Thalassemia.
If any of the above is the case, it is advised to consult the doctor to take preventive steps. He will be able to advise what needs to be done.
If the test is conducted after being pregnant, a prenatal diagnosis during the first trimester has to be done to check the status of the index fetus, i.e., whether it is affected or not. If it is affected, termination is the safer option.
Social Calendar – 1 week
Day 1: Younger women have higher chances of fertility. As the age increases, the number of eggs decrease and along with it, the remaining eggs’ quality deteriorates. The most suitable age for conceiving is before 30.
Day 2: Infertility among men is not uncommon. It mostly occurs due to low sperm count, its poor quality or in some cases, both. It may also happen due to anatomical problems, hormonal imbalance or genetic defects.
Day3: There are ways in which infertility can be cured. There are many reputed fertility drugs manufactured. There is also surgery, artificial insemination, sperm injection, donor eggs and embryos and in vitro fertilisation.
Day4: It takes almost 4 to 6 weeks for one cycle of IVF to get completed as it takes some time for the eggs to get mature, ready to be retrieved and fertilised.
Day5: IVF is a painful process at times. It mainly occurs when for the development of eggs, women are injected and also when the eggs are retrieved for fertilisation.
Day6: IVF may cause cramps, bloating, constipation and breast tenderness. It also causes passage of a small amount of fluid after the procedure is done.
Day7: the success rate is higher in younger women than the old ones. After the age of 35, the chances of a successful IVF are 40%. This is also affected by the lifestyle chosen by the woman.
For more health related articles, click here