A to Z: Alpha Thalassemiaenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-khAZDictionary-enHD-AR1.jpgLearn about genetic disorders and diseases and conditions that affect the blood.Alpha thalassemia, alpha thalassemia minor, alpha thalassemia trait, hemoglobin H disease, alpha thalassemia major, hydrops fetalis, HbH disease, hemoglobin bart hydrops fetalis, Hb bart syndrome, thalassemias, hemoglobin, alpha globin, genes, chromosomes, blood, anemia, bone marrow transplant, folic acid, red blood cells, RBCs12/04/201303/18/201909/02/2019142f4ad6-21f5-49ad-8d86-23b98087d203https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/az-alpha-thalassemia.html/<p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/thalassemias.html/">Alpha thalassemia</a> (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) is an inherited <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/blood.html/">blood</a> disorder in which the body has a problem producing alpha globin. Alpha globin is a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells (RBCs) that transports oxygen throughout the body.</p> <h3>More to Know</h3> <p>Hemoglobin contains two chains of alpha globin and two chains of beta globin. Alpha thalassemia happens when one of the genes controlling alpha globin production&nbsp;is absent or defective, causing faster than normal destruction of RBCs. This leads to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anemia.html/">anemia</a>, which can cause fatigue and other complications, including bone deformities, slower growth rates, and organ damage.</p> <p>Alpha globin is made by four genes, and one or more can be mutated or missing, so there are four kinds of alpha thalassemia:</p> <ol class="kh_longline_list"> <li>People with one missing or abnormal gene are silent alpha thalassemia carriers; they have no symptoms, but can pass thalassemia on to their children.</li> <li>People with one or two missing or mutated genes (alpha thalassemia trait) usually have no symptoms, but also can pass the disease on to their children.</li> <li>People with three missing or mutated genes (hemoglobin H disease) will have moderate to severe symptoms.</li> <li>Four missing or mutated genes (alpha thalassemia major or hydrops fetalis) almost always leads to a fetus dying before delivery or a newborn baby dying shortly after birth.</li> </ol> <p>Treatment for alpha thalassemia depends on the severity of the symptoms and may include <a class="kh_anchor">blood transfusions</a> and folic acid supplements. A bone marrow transplant is the only known cure for alpha thalassemia, but since transplants carry many risks, they are usually done only in the most severe cases of thalassemia.</p> <h3>Keep in Mind</h3> <p>For many people with alpha thalassemia trait, whose only symptom is mild anemia from time to time, no medical treatment is necessary. Those who have a more severe type of the disease can reduce the risk of complications by eating a balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, taking steps to prevent colds or flu, and going to all their medical appointments as recommended.</p> <p><em>All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.</em></p>
Alpha ThalassemiaAlpha thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing alpha globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/thalassemias.html/3f585363-6910-4555-8974-0ac2bce7df91
AnemiaAnemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body needs more nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia and how it's treated.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/anemia.html/d59f63cc-1045-4151-87c3-750eb2f414d4
Beta ThalassemiaBeta thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing beta globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/beta-thalassemia.html/92b6c08b-14ad-4b67-bc47-c1acd388d19c
Blood Find out about the mysterious, life-sustaining fluid called blood.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/blood.html/4cbf9380-e4e4-445c-92a9-93f01a97516b
Blood CultureA blood culture is a test that looks for germs (such as bacteria or fungi) in the blood.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/labtest3.html/79ae50cd-d8c6-4c4f-b415-769307646fee
Blood Test: Complete Blood CountThis common blood test helps doctors gather information about a person's blood cells and how they're working. Find out why doctors do this test and what's involved for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/test-cbc.html/6843c50f-dc8a-4b78-8fc7-50f34942c2d7
Blood Test: HemoglobinHemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells. A hemoglobin test can be done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems and or because a child isn't feeling well. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/blood-test-hemoglobin.html/d1e09555-be24-4d30-9163-49a54cb14dff
Blood TransfusionsAbout 5 million people a year get blood transfusions in the United States. This article explains why people need them and who donates the blood used.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/transfusions.html/e62b4115-02ec-45e0-bab3-ab6097ba1f4d
What's Blood?It swirls through your veins and arteries, but what is it really? Find out about blood in this article for kids.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/blood.html/8cde3d2c-c9d4-478c-a2ee-4272e86d3f15
Word! Red Blood CellsRed blood cells have the important job of carrying oxygen.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/word-red-blood-cells.html/e163905c-3823-40f0-9791-bb9161af3c16