Thalassemia What Is Thalassemia?
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder, which means that it is passed from parents to children through. There are two main types of thalassemia: alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia. Each of these types can be mild, moderate, or serious, depending on how much hemoglobin your body makes. Hemoglobin is a protein that helps red blood cells carry oxygen.
If you have thalassemia, your body may not make enough hemoglobin, which can lead to fewer healthy red blood cells. This can lead to a condition called anemia.
Anemia can make you feel tired, weak, or short of breath. Or, depending on the type of thalassemia you have and how serious it is, you may have no symptoms at all. More serious types of thalassemia are usually diagnosed before a child is 2 years old.
Blood transfusions are used to treat thalassemia. You may need occasional or more regular blood transfusions, depending on how serious your condition is. You may also take medicine to help with complications from this treatment. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before you become pregnant. They may need to run tests or change your treatment plan.
Although thalassemia is a lifelong condition, treatments have improved over the years. People are now living with thalassemia for longer and have better quality of life.