Thalassemia refers to an inherited type of blood disorder, which characterizes less hemoglobin and red blood cells in relatively few amounts in the body than normally it has. Hemoglobin substance present in red blood cells allows carrying oxygen among them. On the other side, low hemoglobin and few red blood cells leave you tired and fatigued, while it even causes anemia.
How Do You Treat Beta Thalassemia?
Treatment to cure beta thalassemia depends on its signs and symptoms, along with its severity level. Accordingly-
Mild Thalassemia Treatment
In case of mild beta thalassemia, you will experience very little and minor signs and symptoms. Because of this, you require transfusion of blood on an occasional basis, especially after you undergo with any surgery or after you have a baby or need to manage complications associated with thalassemia. Furthermore, as the treatment causes overload of iron, patients also requirement for the removal of excessive iron. For this, doctors recommend for an oral medication i.e. deferasirox to help in the removal of excessive iron.
Moderate to Severe Thalassemia Treatment
Treatment to cure moderate and/or severe form of beta thalassemia includes-
Frequent Transfusions of Blood
Beta thalassemia in severe forms requires frequent transfusion of blood possibly after a period of only few weeks. With the passage of time, blood transfusions result in iron buildup in the blood, which cause damages to your liver, heart and various other organs. Hence, to assist your body to overcome or remove the extra iron, you require the necessary medicines to rid of the extra iron from your body.
Transplantation of Stem Cells
Transplantation of stem cells or bone marrows is an option in specific cases, which include babies born with severe type of beta thalassemia. This eliminates the requirement of lifelong blood transfusions and medicines to control the overload of iron. Accordingly to the procedure, a patient (new born baby) gets stem cells infusions from any compatible donor, often from a sibling or any healthy adult.
Other Treatments to Cure Beta Thalassemia
Along with the aforementioned primary treatments to cure beta thalassemia, doctors recommend for other rare treatments to cure the problem, which include
- Surgery for the removal of spleen in case of requirement
- Daily intake of folic acid
- Surgery for the removal of gallbladder
- Regular checkup of your liver and heart functions
- Genetic tests
Other Major Aspects to Select a Specific Treatment
Along with the aforementioned treatment options to cure mild, moderate and severe forms of beta thalassemia, doctors identify the appropriate treatment based on valuable pieces of information about any patient, which include-
- Age, medical history and overall health
- Extent of your problem or expectation, for which your condition will last
- The way, in which your body respond to medications, surgical procedures/treatment procedures and therapies
- Preference and opinion of a patient or his/her family member.
Symptoms Of Beta Thalassemia
Symptoms By Birth
Babies born with beta thalassemia often experience following symptoms in their lives, which include-
- Pale skin
- Poor appetite
- Many infections
- Slow growth and development of a baby/child.
- Swelling in the abdominal area.
- Jaundice or yellow skin.
Beta Thalassemia Causes
Beta Thalassemia causes due to mutations in DNA cells responsible to prepare hemoglobin i.e. the substance present in the red blood cells carrying oxygen in the entire body. Mutations related to beta thalassemia pass to babies from their parents. Thalassemia thus causes disruption in the normal hemoglobin production and thereby, healthy red blood cells in your body. This problem further results in anemia and hence, your blood fails to get enough red blood cells for carrying oxygen to other organs or tissues of your body, while leaving you tired and fatigued.
To conclude, we should say that treatment options (combinations of the aforementioned ones or single ones) depend on both patients’ condition and extent of beta thalassemia in their bodies.