Thalassemia | Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of thalassemia?

Thalassemia symptoms depend on the type of thalassemia you have and how severe the anemia becomes. Some people have little or even no symptoms. Other people have mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms of thalassemia may include one or more of the following:

  • Paleness
  • Tiredness, low energy, or muscle weakness (also called fatigue)
  • Lightheadedness or shortness of breath
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
  • In children, slow growth and delayed puberty
  • Bone deformities in the face
  • Abdominal swelling

Children who are born with thalassemia may show signs of the disease right away, or symptoms may appear later. Most signs and symptoms usually show up within the first 2 years of life. If your child has delayed growth, it’s important to find out if he or she might have thalassemia. Untreated thalassemia can cause heart failure and infection.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 11/09

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