(Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency)
What is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency?
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is a
genetic disorder that
occurs most often in males. This condition mainly affects red blood cells, which
carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. In affected
individuals, a defect in an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
causes red blood cells to break down prematurely. This destruction of red blood
cells is called hemolysis.
The most common medical problem associated with glucose-6-phosphate
dehydrogenase deficiency is hemolytic anemia, which
occurs when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them.
This type of anemia leads to paleness, yellowing of the skin and whites of the
eyes (jaundice), dark urine, fatigue,
shortness of breath, and a rapid heart
rate. In people with glucose-6-dehydrogenase deficiency, hemolytic anemia is most often triggered by
bacterial or viral infections or by
certain drugs (such as some antibiotics and medications used to treat malaria). Hemolytic anemia can also occur after eating
fava beans or inhaling pollen from fava plants (a reaction called favism).
Glucose-6-dehydrogenase deficiency is also a significant cause of mild to
severe jaundice in newborns. Many people with this disorder, however, never
experience any signs or symptoms.
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G6PD Deficiency - Experience
Question: Please describe your experience with G6PD deficiency.