What is Thalassemia? Can Thalassemia Carriers Have Children?
What is Thalassemia?
Thalassemia is an inherited blood condition genetically passed from parents to their children. This is caused by the body’s inability to produce enough healthy hemoglobin proteins, a vital protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to body tissues and organs. If you have thalassemia, your body and bone marrow produce fewer healthy hemoglobin proteins and red blood cells. The condition of having fewer red blood cells is Anemia. A lack of healthy red blood cells can deprive your body’s cells of the oxygen required to produce energy because red blood cells play a crucial role in delivering oxygen to tissues throughout your body.
What is a Thalassemia carrier?
A carrier of thalassemia is someone who carries one of the defective genes that cause thalassemia but normally does not have any health symptoms other than slight anemia. The thalassemia trait typically is passed on from parents to their offspring. There are two possibilities as follow:
- If one of the parents has the thalassemia trait and has a child, the child may be born with the thalassemia trait and mild anemia.
- If both parents have the thalassemia trait and have a child, the child is likely to be born with thalassemia and severe anemia.
Types of Thalassemia
Thalassemia is classified into two types based on the section of the hemoglobin that is affected and the severity of the condition. There are two forms of thalassemia: alpha and beta-thalassemia. The most severe kind is beta thalassemia major. And being a beta thalassemia carrier will not normally cause you any health concerns, but you are at risk
- a-thalassemia 1
- a-thalassemia 2
- Hb Constant Spring
Alpha-Thalassemia can cause severe thalassemia, which can lead to the children’s death while still in the womb.
- Hemoglobin E (Hb E)
The beta group’s thalassemia carriers are not quite as severe as the alpha group. Jaundice and pallor are frequently found. A blood transfusion may be necessary to treat severe anemia in some cases.
How does Thalassemia affect your body?
When you have thalassemia, your body produces fewer red blood cells, which can cause anemia-related symptoms. You may experience fatigue or weakness if you have anemia. Additional symptoms include:
- Pale skin
- a quick heartbeat
- breathing difficulty
- difficulty paying attention
Guidelines for patients with thalassemia
- Avoid foods that contain a lot of iron, such as animal blood. Liver, spinach.
- Abstain from medications, and avoid iron-fortified vitamins and vitamin C.
- Focus on reviewers. Vegetables, fruits, eggs Milk, or soy milk Avoid foods high in iron, such as blood, liver, and offal.
- Eat foods rich in folic to help build red blood cells, especially green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits such as kale, avocado, and lemon.
- Light exercise should be done regularly, but do not engage in strenuous activities.
- Do not buy medicines or vitamins to nourish the blood yourself, as they may contain iron mixtures and harm the body.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking.
- If there are any abnormalities, seek medical attention immediately.
As you know, thalassemia is caused by heredity. Therefore, those who plan to have children and want to create a family should come and screen for thalassemia carriers, because even if there is a carrier of thalassemia in the body, they can have children. The doctor will determine what kind of carrier of thalassemia is. How risky is it to prevent a child born with thalassemia?
People with latent genes should be screened before pregnancy, and spouses who want to have children should check for this condition that may be hidden in them in order to prepare them before they have children.
Thalassemia is prevented by screening people with latent genes before pregnancy.
Spouses should be able to check for this condition that may be hidden in them in order to prepare for having children.
How is thalassemia treated?
Treatment options for thalassemia vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. If you are a carrier or have an alpha or beta thalassemia trait, you will most likely have mild to no symptoms and may not require medication.
You might experience mild to severe anemia symptoms if you have a more severe type of thalassemia. You might require treatment options like blood transfusions, medication, or a bone marrow and blood transplant.
The main treatment for moderate or severe thalassemia is blood transfusions. This treatment provides you with healthy hemoglobin-containing red blood cells.
Blood and bone marrow transplantation
A blood or bone marrow transplant replaces faulty blood-forming stem cells with healthy donor cells. The only treatment for thalassemia is a stem cell transplant. Only a few people with severe thalassemia can successfully undergo the procedure and find a donor match.
Can Thalassemia carriers have children?
Thalassemia carriers typically do not show symptoms if blood testing is not performed. Having the thalassemia trait has no direct impact on the ability to have a child. Parents with thalassemia can have children, but this child is at risk of inheriting the thalassemia trait.
To summarize, patients who have thalassemia can have children, and having any thalassemia symptoms do not affect fertility. They can also receive IVF procedures, an assisted reproductive technology.