Thalassemia causes an imbalance of iron in the body. This makes it essential for healthcare professionals to maintain normal iron levels in people with thalassemia. Any abnormalities in iron levels can become difficult to manage.
Besides this, thalassemia can be confused with iron deficiency anemia. Both health conditions can look similar in the complete blood count (CBC) test. However, an experienced eye and follow-up tests can separate both health conditions.
In the answer below, we have discussed why people with thalassemia cannot take iron and other related questions.
Can thalassemia patients take iron?
In a certain scenario. Doctors can recommend iron supplements only if someone with thalassemia is also suffering from iron deficiency.
In the majority of people with thalassemia, doctors never recommend iron supplements. Regular consumption of Iron supplements can cause iron overload. Too much iron can damage the heart, liver, and endocrine system.
Can thalassemia carriers eat iron?
No. The available evidence informs that carriers of the thalassemia gene should avoid iron supplements. Such people are often asymptomatic, but pregnancy can lead to anemia. This condition can get worsen with regular intake of iron supplements.
What is the side effect of eating too much iron among thalassemia patients?
Eating too much iron can lead to chronic iron overload in thalassemia patients. People with thalassemia can get too much iron either from the disease itself or from blood transfusions.
People with thalassemia can get too much iron in their bodies, either from the disease or from frequent blood transfusions. Some thalassemia patients do not need blood transfusions. Such people can also suffer from iron overload due to excessive iron absorption by the gastrointestinal tract.
Iron overload is a serious problem for thalassemia patients because the body does not have a mechanism to remove excess iron from the body. Due to this, complications of cardiac disease, pulmonary hypertension, bone disease, endocrine diseases, liver fibrosis, and cirrhosis can occur.
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