Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)
Print    Email
Bookmark and Share

Health Information

Health Information

Health Information

Health Information - Definition

Search Health Information    Thalassemia

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a group of inherited blood disorders that interfere with the body's normal production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a substance that red blood cells need in order to carry oxygen to body tissues.

Thalassemia is inherited, passed on through genes from parent to child.

Symptoms of the disease vary. Some people have no symptoms or very mild symptoms, in which case they may not need treatment. Others develop symptoms of anemia, such as weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness, and pale skin.

People who have moderate to severe symptoms of anemia may require treatment. Treatment depends on the severity of the thalassemia. Treatment can include folic acid supplements, medicine, blood transfusions, or stem cell transplants from blood or bone marrow. Very rare forms of thalassemia may cause organ damage that can result in death.

Last Revised: July 1, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

© 2014 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000