ZocdocAnswersDoes thalessemia cause anemia?

Question

Does thalessemia cause anemia?

What kind of anemia does it cause?

Answer

Anemia is a condition where there are a lower number of red blood cells in the blood than there should be. Red blood cells have the job of carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body. When there are not enough red blood cells, then the body does not get enough oxygen. This can cause symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, and just feeling run down. There are many causes of anemia. Thalessemia is one of the few genetic causes of anemia. It is usually found in families of Mediterranean descent. Thalessemia comes in many different varieties with some being fatal, and others being so mild they are never noticed. The disease is caused by a defective gene for hemoglobin, and important protein in red blood cells. The defective gene reduces the number of red blood cells that are produced by the bone marrow. This is what causes the anemia. If you are concerned that you may be anemic, then I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a detailed history of you symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. You can also have a complete blood count test done to see if you have anemia. If you do, then you will need a further workup to find out the cause of the anemia. Good luck.

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