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The primary symptoms of thalassemia are a result of anemia, a decreased number of healthy red blood cells. The following are the most common symptoms of anemia
. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• pale skin, lips, hands or under the eyelids
• increased heart rate
• breathlessness, or difficulty catching a breath (dyspnea)
• lack of energy, or tiring easily (fatigue)
• dizziness or vertigo, especially upon standing
• irregular menstruation
• absent or delayed menstruation (amenorrhea)
• jaundice, or yellowing of skin, eyes, and mouth
• enlarged spleen or liver (splenomegaly, hepatomegaly)
• slow or delayed growth and development
Children who carry a single thalassemia gene are said to have “thalassemia trait.” These children are generally healthy and do not require any treatment.
causes less severe symptoms than thalassemia major
. This can make it difficult to diagnose because it may resemble other forms of anemia.
Thalassemia major causes the most severe anemia and requires ongoing treatment and regular blood transfusions.