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733588 tn?1242935659

Thalassemia

I was diagnosed with anemia and my GP referred me to a hematologist because my hemoglobin level was 9.7, but my ferritin levels where 305 an that concerned her.

I just received my blood test results from my hematologist yesterday and my hemoglobin is up to 11.7 and everything else looks normal, but my red blood cells are small. So she wants me to come in for one more blood test because she not sure if it is Thalassemia. She said that it usually effects African Americans, Mediterraneans and Asians and I do not fit any of those I am Caucasian so I am a little confused and curious as to how I would get this. I would appreciate any help anyone can offer. Thanks
2 Responses
419309 tn?1326506891
Individuals with inherited thalassemia trait often have red blood cells that are small.  Although thalassemia carriers are most common in the populations you mentioned, it is not limited to only non-Caucasians -- it is present, for example, in Italian, Portuguese, and Greek populations as well.  

Since people who inherit a thalassemia gene may have smaller RBCs, it can result in slightly lower iron levels, but the good news is, as a rule, having thal trait does NOT affect the general health of the individual.  Many people who are thal carriers go through life never knowing they have the trait.  Diagnosis of thalassemia can be done either through a blood test called hemoglobinelectropheresis, or by gene sequencing.  

In terms of your own health, if it turns out that you that you have thalassemia trait, do not panic, as it usually does not have any significant impact on your health.  However, it will be something that you will want to address with your ob/gyn and/or a medical geneticist if you are considering starting a family or planning pregnancy in the near future.

Best wishes,
~eureka
Avatar universal
I think your answer is wrong-read hundreds of other posts about thal minor (real people-not statistics).  I'm a 46 y/o woman w/Thal trait (brother had major):About me:  I fainted a lot when I was a kid, unusually low energy, sallow appearance and dark circles, depression (due to low energy), no thirst-get dehydrated, heavy periods, low exercise tolerance.  I've just lived with it knowing my limits.  
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