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Lets us learn about type of thalassemia

There are four types of alpha thalassemia. Each type represents the loss of or damage to one, two, three, or four genes.

  • One gene: If one alpha-globin gene is missing or damaged, you will have no symptoms and will not need treatment. But you are a silent carrier. This means you don't have the disease but you can pass the defective gene to your child.
  • Two genes: If two alpha-globin genes are missing or damaged, you will have very mild anemia that will not need treatment. This is called alpha thalassemia minor or alpha thalassemia trait.
  • Three genes: If three alpha-globin genes are missing, you will have mild to moderately severe anemia. This is sometimes called hemoglobin H disease. If it is severe, you may need blood transfusions.
  • Four genes: If all four alpha-globin genes are missing (alpha thalassemia major), the fetus will be stillborn, or the child will die shortly after birth.
  1. Step 1

Avoid foods that contain iron. Some thalassemia patients must get regular blood transfusions. This causes an excess build up of iron in the body which can damage the heart and other organs. Proteins that are high in iron and should be avoided include liver, oysters, pork, beans, beef, peanut butter and tofu. Grains that are iron rich include flour tortillas, infant cereal, and cream of wheat. Fruits and vegetables that contain iron and should be avoided include prunes, watermelon, peas, broccoli, raisins, spinach, and leafy green vegetables.

  1. Step 2

Eat plenty of foods that contain calcium. This is extremely important for keeping the bones strong and healthy. This is crucial for people who have thalassemia since frail and brittle bones can be a complication of the disease. Dairy products are a good source of calcium. An added benefit is that dairy products reduce the body's ability to absorb iron.

  1. Step 3

Include vitamin D in your diet. Vitamin D is needed so that the body can absorb calcium. Vitamin D is contained in eggs, dairy products and fish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't cook with iron pots and pans because some of that can seep into the food.
  • Avoid foods such as orange juice, which can increase the body's ability to absorb iron.
  • Tea and coffee can help reduce the amount of iron the body absorbs.
  • Always read nutrition labels to check iron levels in foods.
Thalassemia is also called Cooley's Anemia

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