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Can sickle cell traits trigger thalassemia ?

yes, my duaghter, 16 years of age. bloodwork was done at my request becuase i saw symptons of anemia , which i myself have suffered since the age of 12. she is of african american race her dads side,he once told me he had sickle cell traits but it never affected him.myself not knowing my whole side becuase my mother did not put my dad on the birth certificate leaves a half side- kinda unknowen.reason why im stateing this is the doctors office said they couldnt give me a proper diagnosis becuase my duaghter blood level was so extremly low her red blood cells ..ect.. very low.they gave her a month worth of strong iron pills @ laxatives to help her with the iron pills. they said they will have to retest becuase they couldnt determind proper lab results has to why or what it maybe?.the doctor asked if maybe it was thalassemia her dad may have had? but i know he said sickle cell traits.(we are no longer together & cant find him at this time.)when i looked up thalassemia very scary. but im white catch.. 22 my mother refuses to tell anyone whom my birth father is, well in concultion i cant be mediterrranean or asian haritage.. maybe itailain?or greek? problem is to norrow this down,.....maybe?.. cant sickle cell traits disguise as maybe as thalassemia?
Asked On : Sat, 14 Apr 2012
Answers:  2 Views:  70
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Your description of your daughter's problem shows that she has anaemia which you think might be sickle cell trait or Thallasaemia.First test which can be performed is a reticulocyte count .If this is high it is a hemolytic anaemia .A peripheral smear should be done which will make the picture more clearer.A bone marrow biopsy can be done to rule out aplastic anaemia or other bone marrow abnormalities.All these tests will help you to narrow down the diagnosis
Answered: Sat, 14 Apr 2012
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General & Family Physician Dr. Kimberly Martin's  Response
Hello and welcome to

Sickle cell disease usually is diagnosed at birth with a blood test during routine newborn screening tests. If a child tests positive on the screening test, a second blood test (called a hemoglobin electrophoresis) should be performed to confirm the diagnosis.

Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia.

Children born with thalessemia major (Cooley's anemia) are normal at birth, but develop severe anemia during the first year of life.

Newborn screening also tests for thalessemia's.

While both sickle cell and thalessemia are diseases that affect the blood. There is a distinct difference when the red blood cells are viewed under the microscope. In addition, your daughter would have exhibited symptoms of disease earlier in life.

Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal.

Anemia is caused by either:
1. a decrease in production of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or
2. an increase in loss or destruction of red blood cells.

Iron deficiency is a very common cause of anemia. Young women are likely to have low grade iron deficiency anemia because of the loss of blood each month through normal menstruation. This is generally without any major symptoms as the blood loss is relatively small and temporary.

Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause anemia. This type of anemia could happen in people who are unable to absorb vitamin B12 from their intestines due to a number of reasons. Strict vegetarians are at risk if they do not take adequate vitamin supplements.

Folate deficiency can be the culprit of anemia as well. This may also be caused by inadequate absorption or under-consumption of green, leafy vegetables.

Some patients with anemia have no symptoms. Others with anemia may feel 1) Tired, 2) Fatigue easily, 3) Appear pale, 4) Develop palpitations (feeling of heart racing), and 5) Become short of breath. Additional symptoms may include: 1) Hair loss, 2) Malaise (general sense of feeling unwell), and 3) Worsening of heart problems.

It is worth noting that if anemia is longstanding (chronic anemia), the body may adjust to low oxygen levels and the individual may not feel different unless the anemia becomes severe. On the other hand, if the anemia occurs rapidly (acute anemia), the patient may experience significant symptoms relatively quickly.

Once your daughter's blood count is higher, your family physician will probably retest and have her blood examined under a microscope. This should indicate the cause of the condition. It is unlikely that your daughter has lived with either sickle cell or thalessemia without complications to date.

I have given your a lot of information so that you will not worry unduely,

Be well,
Dr. Kimberly
Answered: Sat, 14 Apr 2012
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