Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have thalassemia, be sure to:
- Avoid excess iron. Unless your doctor recommends it, don't take vitamins or other supplements that contain iron.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet that contains plenty of nutritious foods can help you feel better and boost your energy. Your doctor may also recommend you take a folic acid supplement to help your body make new red blood cells. Also, to keep your bones healthy, make sure your diet contains adequate calcium and vitamin D. Ask your doctor what the right amounts are for you, and whether you need to take a supplement.
- Avoid infections. Protect yourself from infections with frequent hand-washing and by avoiding sick people. This is especially important if you've had to have your spleen removed. You'll also need an annual flu shot, as well as the meningitis, pneumococcal and hepatitis B vaccines to prevent infections. If you develop a fever or other signs and symptoms of an infection, see your doctor for treatment.
- What are thalassemias? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Thalassemia/Thalassemia_All.html. Accessed Dec. 30, 2010.
- Giardina PJ, et al. Thalessemia syndromes. In: Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed Dec. 30, 2010.
- Mueller BU. Prenatal testing for the hemoglobinopathies and thalassemias. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 3, 2011.