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What causes G6PD deficiency?

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Posted on Mon, 2 Feb 2015
Question: Hi pediatricians,

Thanks for taking my queries.

I have two questions relating to my 2.5 year old daughter.

1. She's a G6PD carrier with 1-2 out of the 12 responsible for coding G6PD defected. I would like to know what it actually means. Some doctor told me she may develop G6PD symptoms later into her life say around 50, while some doctor told me she would pretty much be normal throughout her life. Could you please tell me if any changes in her normal genes / symptoms could be expected later in her life and if anything happens about what age that would be?

2. She's a horrible sleeper who has almost never slept through the night since birth. I have tried almost everything (except drugs) but nothing seems to be working consistently. Recently I found this product which seems to help but I also just realised it contains 0.002ml of ethanol and the dosage required per night is 2-3 drops under the tongue before bed. According to the company, the ethanol is derived from fermenting extracts from diary products, and the amount of alcohol is even less than that remains in bread after baking or in bananas. I would like to seek a medical opinion on:

A. whether that comparative statement from the company makes sense. Do bread and bananas really have the same type of alcohol if at all?

B. whether it is really fine to feed her 0.004-0.006ml ethanol under the tongue every night with no negative impact on her whatsoever.

The full ingredients list is here:
Organic Coconut Glycerine, purified water, ethanol, Corydalis ambigua (Corydalis), Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy), Humulus lupus (Hops), Lavandula officinalis (Lavender), Matricaria recutita (Chamomile), Passiflora incarnate (Passionflower), XXXXXXX methysticum (Kava), Scutellaria baicalensis (Baical Skullcap), Albizia lebbeck (Albizia), Viburnum opulus, (Cramp bark) Zizyphus jujuba (Zyziphus) with Homeopathic Calc phos, Chamomilla, Colocynthis, Kreosotum, Mag phos, combined with flower essences. (https://www.sleepdrops.co.nz/products/sleepdrops_for_babies.cfm#ingredients.t)

Thank you very much!
XXXXXXX

doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Suggestions on G6PD and Sleep

Detailed Answer:
Hi....I have gone through you query and the ingredients you have quoted.

1. G6PD deficiency is an X-linked inherited disease that primarily affects men. Women may be affected if they are homozygous, which occurs in populations in which the frequency of G6PD deficiency is quite high. Heterozygous women (carriers) can experience clinical disease as a result of X chromosome inactivation, gene mosaicism, or hemizygosity.

We can tell whether she will have symptoms of the disease or not only after knowing about the complete genetic analysis like X- chromosome inactivation.

2. I do not recommend any sleep inducing drugs for kids of this age.

3. Fermentation of any carbohydrate can produce alcohol. It doesn't not matter whether it is bread of banana. The composition is the same.

4. I do not recommend - feeding her 0.004-0.006ml ethanol under the tongue every night. This may be deleterious on the long run due to habituation, however small is the dose.

Hope my answer was helpful for you. I am happy to help any time. Further clarifications and consultations on Health care magic are welcome. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish your kid good health.
Dr. Sumanth MBBS., DCH., DNB (Paed).

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (2 hours later)
Thanks Dr XXXXXXX

If fermentafion of carbohydrates result in the same type of alcohol, then that means bread and bananas (put in warm environment for a period of time) may contain alcohol too? But surely that doesn't mean kids can't eat bread or bananas? Pls explain more your recommendation of not taking that homeopathic solution comparing it to bread and bananas which can also have the same type of alcohol.

Thanks a lot!
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani (13 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Suggestions on Homeopathy and alternative medicines

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
My suggestion was not against taking a homeopathic medication. My suggestion to you was that medicines to make a baby sleep are not to be encouraged at this age.

I agree with you that fermented products due to the reaction of yeast in them will get partially turned into wine which has a natural property of hypnotic (sleep inducing medicine). Moreover it is not ethanol or chemical alcohol as such. But the percentages mentioned in the preparation are miniscule. But as an allopathic doctor, I am not permitted to suggest any sleep medicine for any kid of this age, as none of these medicines are FDA approved and are not licensed to be used in this age group. Moreover these have not be tested in proper clinical trials to prove their efficacy and safety. As such their use should be avoided.

Bread and bananas too contain same time of fermented product when they get fermented but kids eat them when they are fresh and not when they are fermented and emitting the smell of wine or alcohol which means their putrefaction has already started.

Another suggestion regarding the various organic plant products mentioned and their efficacy and usefulness -

I suggest you post a direct query to Dr. Senthilnathan who is certified specialist available in this website and he specializes in this alternative system of medicine.

Regards - Dr. Sumanth
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Sumanth Amperayani

Pediatrician, Pulmonology

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 8336 Questions

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What causes G6PD deficiency?

Brief Answer: Suggestions on G6PD and Sleep Detailed Answer: Hi....I have gone through you query and the ingredients you have quoted. 1. G6PD deficiency is an X-linked inherited disease that primarily affects men. Women may be affected if they are homozygous, which occurs in populations in which the frequency of G6PD deficiency is quite high. Heterozygous women (carriers) can experience clinical disease as a result of X chromosome inactivation, gene mosaicism, or hemizygosity. We can tell whether she will have symptoms of the disease or not only after knowing about the complete genetic analysis like X- chromosome inactivation. 2. I do not recommend any sleep inducing drugs for kids of this age. 3. Fermentation of any carbohydrate can produce alcohol. It doesn't not matter whether it is bread of banana. The composition is the same. 4. I do not recommend - feeding her 0.004-0.006ml ethanol under the tongue every night. This may be deleterious on the long run due to habituation, however small is the dose. Hope my answer was helpful for you. I am happy to help any time. Further clarifications and consultations on Health care magic are welcome. If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer. Wish your kid good health. Dr. Sumanth MBBS., DCH., DNB (Paed).