World Thalassemia Day is an annual observance day that occurs on May 8th. It is a world-wide campaign to raise awareness about thalassemia and its symptoms. This is done to help the patients living with this genetic disorder. World Thalassemia Day commemorates thalassemia victims and also aims at making thalassemia patients aware about the significance of medical consultation before marriage. This global observance day also tries to debunk myths and misconceptions surrounding the disease. The theme of World Thalassemia Day 2020 is “Begin thalassemia prevention from young age, blood test before marriage will make the future generation safe.” On this day, here we tell you all about the disease. Also Read - World Thalassemia Day 2019: How to Deal With Thalassemia

What is Thalassemia ?

It is a genetic blood disorder that significantly reduces your haemoglobin count. Notably, haemoglobin is a protein molecule present in red blood cells. This protein helps RBCs in carrying oxygen and circulating it in the entire body. Also Read - World Thalassemia Day: Risk Factors, Types And Prevention Tips



Symptoms of Thalassemia

The signs and symptoms of thalassemia depend on the type of thalassemia you have and its severity. Some common symptoms include fatigue, slow growth, weakness, abdominal swelling, pale skin, dark urine facial bone deformities etc. Usually, either a newborn shows thalassemia symptoms at the time of birth itself or develops it in the first two years of life. Also Read - World Thalassemia Day 2017: Importance of Blood donation and how it helps people with this fatal disease

Causes of Thalassemia

Thalassemia occurs when the DNA of your body cells responsible for making haemoglobin, undergo mutation. This mutated DNA is passed on to the next generation.



Diagnosis of Thalassemia

A simple blood test can confirm the disease. Usually, if an expecting mother is known to be suffering from thalassemia, doctors perform a certain tests to find out if the fetus has also inherited the diseases and if yes, what is the severity of the genetic disease. To do that, chorionic villus sampling (testing a tiny sample of placenta) and amniocentesis (examining sample of fluid surrounding foetus) are performed.

Treatment of Thalassemia

In case, you have inherited a minimum number of mutated genes and suffering from mild thalassemia, you do not require treatment. However, in severe case, you may have to go through frequent blood transfusion, chelation therapy, or stem cell transplant.