Symptoms of alpha thalassemia

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Saturday, March 13, 2021 6:00 PM

Alpha thalassemia

Red blood cells contain a compound known as hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen to deliver it to the various cells of the body, and hemoglobin consists of two main parts; They are Heme, or iron dye, and Globin, which consists of four polypeptide chains, two identical Alpha chains, and two identical Beta chains. . And with regard to thalassemia; It can be defined as a group of non-infectious hereditary blood disorders that affect the way the body makes hemoglobin, which causes red blood cells to be destroyed at a faster rate than normal, which leads to the patient suffering from anemia. In fact, there are two types of thalassemia: As for the first type, it is alpha thalassemia, which occurs due to a disorder or problem in the gene responsible for making alpha chains, and the second type is beta thalassemia, which occurs because of a problem in the gene responsible for manufacturing beta thalassemia, and it is worth noting that thalassemia can be transmitted by Genes from parents to children despite the absence of symptoms in the parents sometimes, because the parents are considered carriers of the disease not infected in such cases. [1] [2]

Symptoms of alpha thalassemia

Symptoms of alpha thalassemia can be divided into special and general symptoms as follows:

Special symptoms

In the normal situation of human has four genes related to the alpha chain for hemoglobin, and the incidence of alpha - thalassemia disease may be on one of the faces of the four comes statement and the statement of the symptoms associated with each of them as follows: [3]

  • The silent alpha thalassemia carrier: In this case, one of the four genes responsible for making alpha chains is missing or has a problem or defect, and as for the other three genes, they are healthy, and such cases do not show any Symptoms or signs.
  • Alpha thalassemia minor: In this case, the patient suffers from a defect in two genes for the alpha chain, or the absence of two genes, while the other two are present and healthy, and those with this condition may have smaller red blood cells Slightly than usual, and they may show some mild symptoms of anemia.
  • Hemoglobin H disease: , and in this case the patient suffers from the absence or three genes disorder from those of the alpha chain, and people with this condition suffer from symptoms of anemia medium or perhaps severe.
  • Alpha thalassemia major: In this type of alpha thalassemia major, the four genes for the alpha chain are absent or have a specific disorder, and in such cases often either the patient dies in his mother's womb or dies shortly after birth Very much, but it is worth noting that if this condition is discovered before the birth of the fetus; It is possible to give appropriate treatment and the newborn will live.

General symptoms of anemia

Some cases of alpha thalassemia may show symptoms of anemia as we have shown, and among these symptoms and signs we mention the following: [3]

  • Feeling tired and unwell.
  • shortness of breath.
  • Irritability.
  • Pale skin color.

Alpha thalassemia treatment

There are some medical treatments that can be resorted to in the event of suffering from alpha thalassemia, and the choice of treatment depends on many factors, including the age of the patient, his general health, and his health history, in addition to the severity of the disease, and the ability to deal with certain medications, or procedures, or Treatments, and some cases may not need any treatment, and among the available treatment options are the following: [4]

  • Daily doses of folic acid.
  • Operations blood transfusions as needed.
  • Surgery to remove the spleen.
  • Medicines to reduce excess iron in the body.
  • Avoid certain oxidizing drugs if you have hemoglobin H disease.

Diagnosis of alpha thalassemia

There are some tests that can be used to diagnose alpha thalassemia, including the following: [4]

  • Complete blood count, as this test shows the size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of blood.
  • Hemoglobin electrophoresis, and hemoglobin electrophoresis analysis is used to help determine the type of thalassemia.
  • The Ferritin test and the test known as Free-erythrocyte protoporphyrin, to find out the cause of the patient's anemia and rule out iron deficiency anemia.
  • Chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis. These tests are used to detect whether a fetus has disease during pregnancy.
  • Testing of DNA .


  1. "Thalassemias" , , Retrieved 27-4-2018. Edited.
  2. "Medical Definition of Alpha thalassemia" , , Retrieved 14-5-2018. Edited.
  3. ^ A b " the Alpha Thalassemia" , , Retrieved 14-12-2019. Edited.
  4. ^ A b " the Alpha Thalassemia" , , Retrieved 28-4-2018. Edited.