SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Signs and symptoms of thalassemia include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale appearance
- Yellow discoloration of skin (jaundice)
- Facial bone deformities
- Slow growth
- Abdominal swelling
- Dark urine
The signs and symptoms you experience depend on the type and severity of thalassemia you have. Some babies show signs and symptoms of thalassemia at birth, while others may develop signs or symptoms during the first two years of life. Some people who have only one affected hemoglobin gene don't experience any thalassemia symptoms.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your child's doctor for an evaluation if he or she has any signs or symptoms that worry you.
- 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.