What is Thalassaemia trait?
If you have been diagnosed with the Thalassaemia trait, this is simply another way of saying that you carry the genetic trait for Thalassaemia.
A genetic trait is a kind of message or code contained in your body .You may pass this code on to your children, and they may pass it on to their children.
You may, for instance, carry the genetic trait for blue eyes, even if you yourself have brown eyes.
Thalassaemia trait is not a disease or condition but a kind of genetic possibility that you pass on to your descendants.
The Thalassaemia trait is not a disease.
Medical personnel often tell people who carry the Thalassaemia trait that they “have Thalassaemia” which can lead trait carriers to believe that they have some kind of health – threatening medical condition. This is not true.
Medical terminology refers to the “Thalassaemia minor”. So while it may be technically correct to say that trait carriers “have Thalassaemia” (or, more properly, “Thalassaemia minor”), trait carriers should be aware that carrying the genetic trait for Thalassaemia is not the same thing as having a disease.
The Thalassaemia trait requires no medical treatment.
Physicians sometimes mistakenly prescribe iron supplements for Thalassaemia trait carriers, usually because they mistake the small size of the trait carrier’s red blood cells with iron- deficiency anemia.
The only way to properly determine the need for iron supplements is to have a physician test iron levels in the patient’s blood. Without a test of blood iron levels, iron supplements should not be prescribed for Thalassaemia trait carriers.
The Thalassaemia trait cannot become worse or turn into a serious disease.
Because the Thalassaemia trait is a genetic trait and not a health condition, it cannot “become worse” or change into one of the more serious forms of Thalassaemia that may require medical treatment.
Why should I be concerned about the Thalassaemia trait?
Even though the Thalassaemia trait has no symptoms and cannot directly affect your health, it can indirectly affect your health and directly affect the health of your children.
Doctors may mistake your Thalassaemia trait for a different condition and prescribe unnecessary and potentially harmful tests or treatments.