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E-beta thalassemia intermedia, taking hydroxyurea. Medicine to increase body weight, spleen size and others

Sir, my son has been suffering from e-beta thalaseemia intermedia. Now he is 6 yrs. old. He has not been transfused so far. His HB remains between 8-8.5 by taking hydroxyurea (250 mg/per day). His body weight is 19 kg. Please suggest me how his HB level can be increased to above 10 and his general health can be improved a lot including body weight, spleen size and others. please suggest me.. GAUTAM SAHA YYYY@YYYY
Sat, 16 Jun 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi Gautam,
Thanks for writing in.
For your son, I would suggest that a serum ferritin and Vitamin B12 level be done to assess whether these stores are adequate in the body. If these levels are low, we can start him on iron and Vitamin B12 supplementation.
There is presently no way to reduce the spleen size. As far as the body weight is concerned, I would be looking at a balanced diet for him. This should include plenty of fruits and vegetables and sources of iron like jaggery, non vegetarian items etc.
Once you have these reports, we can discuss them on this forum. Also, I think you should be looking at getting a second opinion from AIIMS, New Delhi or CMC, Vellore. Both centres are some of the best we have in this country for managing this disease.
Hope this helps
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Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Praveen Tayal's  Response
Thanks for writing to us.
In case of thalassaemia intermedia, the blood hemoglobin levels are tried to maintain near 9-10gm% levels. Iron therapy is not much helpful. You need to give him green leafy vegetables and protein rich diet for overall development. Taking Vitamin C supplements will help increasing the immunity.
I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you.
Dr. Praveen Tayal
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