Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder. In this condition, the body makes less healthy RBCs and less hemoglobin. People suffering from thalassemia can have a mild or severe anemia.

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Does Thalassemia Make You Tired?

Hemoglobin is an important part of red blood cells. If there is not enough hemoglobin in the red blood cells, they will not be able to function properly, and they will not last longer. As a result, they will get destroyed and there will be very less healthy RBCs flowing in the blood stream.

Red blood cells perform an important function of carrying oxygen to all the cells in our body. The cells use this oxygen as food to function properly. If there are not enough red blood cells in the body, there also won’t be proper oxygen supply to the cells in our body. This may cause various symptoms like tiredness, breathlessness, and fatigue in the body. This condition is known as anemia. Those suffering from thalassemia may get anemia which can be mild or severe in nature. Severe anemia can damage the organs, cause organ failure or even lead to death.

Because of the lowered oxygen supply to the body cells, there is tiredness, breathlessness and fatigue in those people who suffer from thalassemia. Thalassemia can make you very tired, but of course, the severity of the symptoms depends upon the severity and the type of the disease.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Thalassemia

People suffering from thalassemia may get following signs and symptoms

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Yellowish and pale skin and eyes
  • Slow growth
  • Dark colored urine
  • Bone deformities especially of the face

The signs and symptoms of thalassemia may be mild or severe, according to the type of the disease.

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Types Of Thalassemia

Thalassemia can be categorized in two different ways. One classification is based upon the part of the hemoglobin that is affected- alpha or beta; and the thalassemia is named accordingly. The other is based upon the severity of the thalassemia, and the thalassemia is named trait, minor, intermedia or major according to the severity of the disease.

Alpha Thalassemia

The alpha part of the hemoglobin is made up of four genes-two from each parent. One or more than one gene gets mutated and cause different types of thalassemia accordingly.

1 affected gene-

  • Results in a silent carrier form of the disease
  • This type does not show any symptoms usually
  • This type is also known as alpha thalassemia minima

2 affected genes-

  • Results in trait form of the disease
  • Symptoms are mild
  • This type is also known as alpha thalassemia minor

3 affected genes-

  • This results in hemoglobin H type of the disease
  • The symptoms in this type are moderate
  • This type is also known as hemoglobin H disease.

4 affected genes-

  • This is a rare form of the disease
  • This results in major form of the disease
  • The symptoms of this type are usually very severe and fatal
  • This is also known as Hydrops fetalis with hemoglobin Barts

Beta Thalassemia

The beta part of the hemoglobin is made up of two genes- one from each parent. One or more than one gene can get mutated and result in different types of thalassemia accordingly.

1 affected gene-

  • This results in a mild form of the disease
  • The symptoms are usually mild
  • This type is also known as the thalassemia minor or beta-thalassemia

2 affected genes-

  • This results in moderate to severe form of the disease
  • The symptoms are usually moderate to severe
  • This type is also known as thalassemia major or Cooley anemia
  • Thalassemia intermedia, a milder form can also be a result of 2 mutated genes

Conclusion

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder. The persons affected by this disorder get mild to severe anemia, which can make them excessively tired. With proper treatment and early diagnosis, the symptoms can be reduced and longevity can be increased.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 24, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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