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Thalassemia



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What Is Thalassemia

Thalassemia, which is an inherited blood disorder, is characterized by less hemoglobin and even fewer red blood cells in the body.  Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which allows them to carry oxygen.  This disorder results in red blood cell destruction, which can lead to anemia, a condition that is characterized by not having enough healthy red blood cells.  Because Thalassemia is inherited, it means that one of your parents must be a carrier of the disease.  People with mild Thalassemia may not need treatment, but people with more serious forms of the condition sometimes require more extensive treatment.  That being said, there are natural remedies you can explore to calm the symptoms.  

Signs Of Thalassemia

The symptoms of Thalassemia can vary depending on the person and the severity of the condition.  Symptoms will typically not come about until babies are about six months old.  The reason for this is because this is the time when regular hemoglobin starts replacing the fetal type.  Common symptoms are listed below. 

  • Fatigue
  • Delayed growth & development
  • General weakness
  • Pale or yellowish skin (Jaundice)
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Dark urine
  • Bone deformities
  • Dizziness
What Causes Thalassemia

Thalassemia is caused by an abnormality or mutation in one of the genes involved with the production of hemoglobin.  This genetic defect is passed from parents to children.  If only one parent has Thalassemia, the child may only develop a mild form of the condition.  This means that even though the child may live without experiencing symptoms, he or she becomes a carrier of the disease.  If both parents have Thalassemia, the child has a greater chance of inheriting a more serious form of the disease.  Causes can include

  • Family history of the disease
  • Genetics
  • Certain ancestry (Thalassemia is more prominent in African-Americans, Asian countries, and people in the Mediterranean)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • It is beneficial for those with Thalassemia to consume foods that are rich in folate, which is a naturally occurring B vitamin.  People will say that it is beneficial to consume folic acid, but this is synthesized and not as beneficial.  Folate helps to build red blood cells and aids with healthy DNA production.  Great sources of folate include nettle leaf, leafy greens, red clover leaves, oatstraw, citrus fruits, avocados, asparagus, and legumes. 
  • People with Thalassemia symptoms can sometimes benefit from exploring homeopathic remedies.  Homeopaths typically prescribe plant tinctures or herbs that work to stimulate a natural healing process.  In order to know exactly what to take for Thalassemia, it is best to consult with a homeopathic doctor. 
  • Zinc is necessary for cell metabolism, immune system function, and it helps to promote healthy growth in children.  People with Thalassemia have been known to be low in zinc and consuming more zinc-rich foods can help with linear growth.  Making the child take a zinc supplement can sometimes cause vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, which is why it may be beneficial to explore plant-based, zinc-rich foods like alfalfa sprouts, rose hips, parsley, dandelion, burdock root, or chickweed. 
  • Boosting the immune system is a beneficial step in the right direction.  It is best to avoid foods like refined grains, artificial sweeteners, processed ingredients, dairy products, meats, and fast foods, all of which can weaken the immune system.  It is advisable to consume a plant-based diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.  You can also consume immune-boosting herbs like Echinacea, astragalus root, cat's claw, oil of oregano, elderberry, or olive leaf. 
  • A lot of sodas contain caffeine and phosphoric acid.  If you have too much phosphorus in your system, your body can’t properly absorb calcium.  People with Thalassemia already can have bone structure issues, and losing calcium is not beneficial!  The phosphoric acid in soda may cause calcium to leak out of your bones.  Avoid consuming carbonated beverages because this can inhibit calcium absorption. 
Things you should eat
  • Citrus Fruits (oranges, lemons, & grapefruit)
  • Avocado
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Rose Hips
  • Parsley
  • Echinacea
  • Asparagus
  • Legumes
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Chia & Hemp Seeds
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Nutritional Yeast
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