Inside our red cells is the protein called Hemoglobin which carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Sometime hemoglobin is not formed properly and you get a condition called Thalassemia.
These are due to defects in the chromosome and so run in families. They are also known to occur in certain communities only. In India, it affects Gujaratis, Parsis, Sindhis, Marwaris, Tribals, Chettiars, Muslims to name a few.
If there is inter marriage between close relatives, the severe form of Thalassemia called Major will occur and the child will be born with severe anemia and struggles to survive.
Regular blood transfusion is the only remedy. Stem cell therapy is a proven way of treatment but very expensive.
In a condition called Thalassemia trait, the patient has a mild anemia with small sized red cells. This is not a threat to life and normally no treatment is necessary.
Dr.K.RAGHU is one of India's senior HAEMATOLOGISTS,
in practice for the past 35 years.
He sees outpatients in Arunodhaya Medical Center, Coimbatore.
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