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Thalassemia

My daughter has been having blood work done on a regular basis for about 6 months now. Her iron levels are not normal. (Ex. IRON 35, TIBC 439, % Saturation 8). She has been on an Iron Supplement for the 6 months as well. She was recently taken off the Iron Supplement. Last week, a blood draw was done testing for Thalassemia. Is this a CdLS related problem? If so, what type of thalassemia? Or is there anything else with CdLS that causes iron levels to be low, and remain low even with supplements?

First of all, thalassemia is a group of conditions carried very commonly in individuals of Mediterranean or Asian background, and by other individuals less commonly, and is completely unrelated to CdLS. When an individual is anemic (has low iron) the first treatment is usually to supplement with oral iron and see if there is resolution, since iron deficiency is the most common cause. If this doesn't work, then a workup for thalassemia is usually the next step. With thalassemia, the individual appears anemic, with different blood values. Treatment with iron will not work and in fact there is no treatment needed. The risk is that two carriers of thalassemia could have a child whose blood is severely affected.

TK 7-13-10



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