What is thalassemia?
Thalassemia (say: "thal-uh-SEE-mee-uh") is a name for a group of inherited blood disorders. When you have thalassemia, your body makes fewer red blood cells and less hemoglobin than normal. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells. It allows the red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Having not enough red blood cell hemoglobin is anemia. Anemia interferes with your body’s ability to move oxygen from your lungs to all of your organs and limbs.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff