Thalassemia is a blood disorder that is genetic and is inherited. The condition happens when the altered genes affect the body and prevent it from making healthy hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein and it is found in the red blood cells of the body.
The hemoglobin carries the oxygen to all the body parts and it also transports the carbon dioxide to the lungs from where it is exhaled.
When the genes are altered then the functioning is affected permanently. This means that Thalassemia is a condition that stays with you for life.
The different types of Thalassemia
The hemoglobin that is there in our body is made up of matching protein and alpha and beta chains. The severity of the condition is dependent on the number of altered genes in the protein chains.
Thalassemia is of two types. These are alpha and beta Thalassemia.
This condition occurs when the gene mutation happens in the alpha protein chain.
- When only one of the genes is affected then no severe symptom is noticed.
- When two genes get affected then it could lead to a mild case of anemia.
- When three genes are affected then it could cause hemoglobin H or HbH disorder. In this condition, the patient needs a regular blood transfusion to deal with the severity of anemia.
- When all the four genes are affected then this causes alpha Thalassemia major which is also known as Hb Bart’s syndrome. This is a life-threatening condition.
The beta Thalassemia occurs when a gene gets affected in the beta protein chain.
- When only one gene gets affected then this causes a condition of a mild trait or a severe case of anemia.
- When both the genes get affected then this is a condition known as beta Thalassemia major which is also known as Cooley’s anemia.
Major and minor Thalassemia
Thalassemia is further categorized into minor and major Thalassemia.
When the genes that get affected are transferred to the patient by just a single parent then this is a case of Thalassemia minor. Those who have this condition are the carriers of this disease and if you suffer from minor Thalassemia then you may not suffer from any health condition. However, this defect could be passed on to your baby.
In this condition, the genes get inherited from both the parents and this causes the beta Thalassemia major which is a life-threatening condition. It could cause some serious complications to the unborn baby. Beta Thalassemia major is more common than alpha Thalassemia major.
Conclusion – How does Thalassemia affect pregnancy?
Your baby will benefit if you take 5mg folic acid all through your pregnancy. This is because a condition of Thalassemia could increase the chances of your baby developing some neural tube defect.
Alpha Thalassemia minor could cause anemia and you may need a blood transfusion. In the case of Alpha Thalassemia HbH, you could suffer from severe or mild anemia. In the case of beta Thalassemia minor then the doctor will keep checking the iron levels in your body. If you have beta Thalassemia major then you are likely to have pregnancy complications.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)