(Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency)
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency facts*
*Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Facts by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOE
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (also called G6PD Deficiency) is a genetic disorder that mainly affects red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. A defect in an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase causes red blood cells to break down prematurely (hemolysis).
- This can cause hemolytic anemia, which can lead to symptoms of paleness, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice), dark urine, fatigue, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate.
- Factors such as infections, certain drugs, or ingesting fava beans can increase the levels of reactive oxygen species, causing red blood cells to be destroyed faster than the body can replace them. A reduction in the amount of red blood cells causes the signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia.
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is located on the X chromosome and tends to affect men more often than women.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2014
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