It’s a type of blood disorder which affects the body’s ability to produce hemoglobin and red blood cells. In this disease, patient has less number of red blood cells in their bodies and having less hemoglobin as compared to normal human beings. It results in to development of anemia and fatigue. Thalassemia is caused by variant or missing genes that affect how the body makes hemoglobin. It is a hereditary disease.
What is hemoglobin?
It is a red colour protein that carries the oxygen and nutrients which transports it to the rest of the body. It’s a spongy material inside some of our bones – bone marrow – uses iron that our body takes from food and makes hemoglobin. Two alpha globin and two beta globin protein chains make up hemoglobin.
Types of Thalassemia
1. Alpha Thalassemia
α-Thalassemia is caused by reduced or absent synthesis of α-globin chains. The patient’s hemoglobin does not produce enough alpha proteins, so the fewer alpha chain proteins are produced.
2. Beta Thalassemia
Β-Thalassemia is caused by reduced or absent synthesis of ß-globin chains. We need two globin genes to make beta globin chains. We (all human beings) get one from each parent. If one or two of these genes are faulty, it produces beta Thalassemia And Sickle .
Severity of beta Thalassemia also depends on how many genes are mutated:
⇒ If one globin gene is mutated – the patient may have Beta Thalassemia minor. –
⇒ If both globin genes are mutated – the patient may have either moderate or severe symptoms (Colley’s anemia).
Causes of Thalassemia
⇒ Thalassemia can make the bone marrow expand, which causes bones to widen. This can result in abnormal bone structure, especially in the face and skull.
⇒ Cardiovascular illness.
⇒ People with Thalassemia have a high risk of infection.
⇒ Due to Thalassemia children’s growth become slowed i.e. stunted.
⇒ Thalassemia results into congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
⇒ In severe form patient needs regular blood transfusion.
⇒ Risk of organ failure, liver damage, heart failure
Benefits of Thalassemia
The inherited disease of red blood cells may confer a degree of protection against malaria.