Thalassemia newbie

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Thalassemia newbie
« on: November 24, 2020, 08:17:05 PM »
Hello Everyone,

Let me introduce myself. I am a 51 year old male of South Asian descent, from Canada. Was diagnosed with Thalassemia minor a couple of yrs back, but  I am asymptomatic so far. Thalassemia runs in the family and my dad had it. My recent bloodwork showed a slightly below normal Hemoglobin and Hematocrit levels (it had been normal previously).

Was wondering if this could be due to Thalassemia. Let me mention that I have switched to a vegetarian diet   , about eight  months back due to another health condition. My doctor wants me to start folic acid ..

Would love to hear experiences and advice form the members of this site. Especially, related to Thalassemia , hemoglobin and vegetarian diet..
Would a meat/fish based diet help with the hemoglobin count?


Offline Andy Battaglia

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Re: Thalassemia newbie
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2020, 12:44:22 AM »
A vegetarian diet should be able to provide enough iron, if it is a well balanced diet. I wonder about iron, as it is one of the things that can be shorted if not enough iron containing foods are consumed. I am a vegetarian and have no problems with iron, but it took me a while being a vegetarian before my iron was at the proper levels. Lower iron stores would be the most likely effect of the dietary change. More focuis on iron containing foods should be helpful. If you are eating plenty of folate containing green vegetables and other foods, the change in diet shouldn't lower your Hb. But, and this is quite common, many thal minors notice changes with age and need more help than they can get from diet. Many minors find that as they age, folate supplements can help. Folate is more effective than folic acid and is preferred. The other thing about a veg diet is that you have to find a way to get vitamin b-12, as it is missing from most veg foods. A sublingual supplement that melts under your tongue can be very beneficial for thals. I don't carry thal, but as I've gotten older, I started taking B-12 and last year added folate. I take 5 mg of each daily and it helps greatly getting me through my work days.

All we are saying is give thals a chance.


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