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Hematology/Beta Thalassemia minor

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Question
My father has beta Thalassemia trait. My 3 siblings & I were all tested about 40 years ago & all 3 of them are also Thalassemia minor but I tested negative. Now, at the age of 45, I am showing to be anemic & have been the last few years. Hg = 11.1. My question is; is it possible that I also have Thalassemia minor but for some reason it didn't show up when I was very young? If not, is it possible that my anemia is somehow related to the Thalassemia minor in my genetics? Would it be beneficial to have another  blood test for the Thalassemia minor as I have heard if I am positive for the trait, taking iron supplements is not recommended?

Answer
Hello R,
Warm welcome to you!
Normally beta thalassemia minor presents as occasional blood transfusions because of repeated anemic attacks in the patient. But this condition is diagnosed within 20-25 yrs of age. Because of the persistent microcytic anemia in the 'Perepheral blood smear study'. Since you are showing symptoms of anemia in the age of 45 I think the reason is not thalassemia. And Hb = 11.1 is considered very mild anemia.

So to clarify your questions, Normally thalassemia minor is diagnosed in pediatric population. My recomendation is you repeat the tests like Complete blood count, peripheral blood smear, reticulocyte count. If there is any variation then you can go ahead testing for thalassemia.

Thanking you!

Hematology

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Dr.Shrinidhi Kulkarni

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I can answer all questions related to hematology. RBC, WBC, Platelet and blood forming organs etc and related questions. hematology also includes blood proteins, hemoglobin and disorders related to clotting abnormalities. So questions about all aspects of hematology are welcome!

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MBBS, Internship in Internal Medicine

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