Diet for Thalassemia Patients: Doctor Shares What to Include on Your Plate

Diet for Thalassemia Patients: An Expert Shares What to Include on Your Plate
It is not a hidden fact that green leafy vegetables like spinach exude enormous amount of iron which benefits everyone especially thalassemia patients.

Although there is no permanent cure to eliminate thalassemia, including some nutrients and supplements in the diet can help to control it well, says an expert.

Thalassemia is caused by missing or damaged genes that make hemoglobin, a protein responsible for carrying oxygen in the blood. Multiple types of thalassemia conditions can severely affect the normal functioning of a person affected by it. There are different types of diseases, which can be divided into alpha and beta types. Beta thalassemia major is the most serious type.

The alpha form occurs when there is an alteration in the genes related to the alpha globin protein, while the beta form is related to similar genes that affect the production of the beta globin protein. The categorization further branches into numerous subtypes and their treatments depend on those subtypes. As a result, the body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells, which leads to a variety of complications. For example, in the silent carrier of alpha thalassemia minor, with a missing gene in the red blood cells, patients mostly experience anemia and fatigue, while in the other type of alpha thalassemia called hemoglobin H disease, the absence of four genes shortens the lifespan of the patient. patient and requires blood transfusion.

Although there is no permanent cure to eliminate the condition thalassemia from the body, experts say that managing the condition with the added support of proper supplements and incorporating the correct diet and lifestyle can go a long way in improving the quality of life of those thalassemia patients.

Expert Shares Essential Nutrients for Thalassemia Patients

Dr. Amit Deshpande (Founder and Director, Activist) shares the essential nutrients that those affected by the condition should include. According to him, the ingredients present in food can have a massive impact on managing the condition.

He said: “The power of nutrition is immense, therefore it must be incorporated wisely under medical supervision so that people with thalassemia can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. In addition to a healthy diet, regular physical activity and control of Stress can also help people with thalassemia maintain their health and well-being. Engaging in yoga, meditation, or walking can reduce stress, increase energy levels, and improve sleep quality.”

The following are some instructions given by the expert:

Consume green leafy vegetables as salad

It is not a hidden fact that green leafy vegetables like spinach exude enormous amount of iron which benefits everyone especially thalassemia patients. As iron is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in the production of healthy blood cells, it becomes imperative that thalassemia patients include iron-rich foods in their regular diet. But it is always better to consume these green leafy vegetables in the form of a salad as cooking them can remove the crucial nutrients present in them. Also, the amount of iron intake should be controlled, as iron overload can damage vital organs such as the heart and liver.

Citrus for vitamin C

People with thalassemia are at increased risk of infections because of their weakened immune systems. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and make healthy red blood cells. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit contain high amounts of vitamin C. Therefore, it is crucial to include vitamin C in your diet, either in food form or as a supplement, such as tablets, among other available forms.

High protein diet

For people with thalassemia, maintaining a diet rich in protein can be crucial in promoting healthy living. Milk protein is an excellent source of protein, but other sources like beans and lentils can also provide a combination of nutrients like iron, zinc, and protein, which help build and repair tissue, as well as produce healthy red blood cells. .

Folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids

In addition, thalassemia patients should also consider taking supplements of folic acid, which is a B vitamin vital for making healthy red blood cells, and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish or fish oil supplements, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and relieve some symptoms. By incorporating these nutrients into their diet, thalassemia patients can help reduce the severity of their symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

According to the expert, participating in yoga, meditation or walking activities can reduce stress, increase energy levels and improve the quality of sleep. It is also important for patients suffering from this condition to avoid eating processed foods and to stay hydrated with plenty of fluid intake. In addition to this, it is equally important to raise awareness about the disease so that timely medical interventions can be carried out effectively.

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