Mediterranean anemia: symptoms in children you need to keep in mind

Mediterranean anemia: symptoms in children you need to keep in mind

When we find ourselves in front of a child who is a little pale or a little tired we must, always and in any case, become aware of it, rather quickly and then, immediately afterwards, go to your pediatrician to understand if it is  Mediterranean anemia.

And it is precisely Mediterranean anemia and its symptoms that we will talk about today.

And symptoms in children which, being children, it is much more difficult for us to understand if they have problems.

But what is Mediterranean anemia, what symptoms should set off the alarm bell and how to treat it.

Symptoms of Mediterranean anemia

Mediterranean anemia (topics that you can learn more about here ), or beta thalassemia, is a genetic disease that tends to obstruct the beta chain of hemoglobin in the blood by lowering red blood cells with an abnormal growth of white blood cells. The different forms of beta thalassemia lead to more or less severe anemia in the affected adult and child, so pay attention to these symptoms:

  • tiredness
  • pallor
  • breathlessness
  • increase in the volume of the liver and spleen
  • growth disturbances

Mediterranean anemia is considered a rare disease in Europe and North America but quite common in the Middle East, Africa and South America.

There are three forms of Mediterranean anemia:

  • the minor form which is not severe and produces neither symptoms nor consequences
  • the major form which is serious and is recognized between 6 and 24 months, with excessive tiredness and with the possibility that the newborn cries a lot and that he eats little. Another symptom to take into consideration is that the lips and palms of the hands are quite pale. In this case, you must regularly undergo blood transfusions.
  • the intermediate form, which is obviously not that severe and needs occasional transfusions

It is important, at the first symptoms, to immediately call your doctor who will allow, through a simple blood count to find out if you are suffering from a rare disease, like this one, and also subtle in symptoms, so much so that it does not even seem a real one. illness but only a slightly weaker period in the life of the little one.

In addition to transfusions, the only therapy that can allow a complete recovery from this disease is bone marrow transplantation , as in leukemia.

The patient undergoes a special transfusion of compatible donor blood and marrow. If, after a period of isolation, because the child is at very high risk of infections, the healthy marrow manages to take root and supplant the diseased marrow, the patient is to be considered cured, obviously after more than careful checks.

The right advice, however, before starting a family and giving birth to potentially sick children, is to do a genetic consultation to see if there are incompatibilities that can lead some diseases to develop in the fetus.


Fortunately, Mediterranean anemia is a rare disease but it is a devious genetic disease.

In fact, the most common symptoms are those of normal fatigue .

Therefore, especially with the little ones, be careful to consider making careful checks already at the first symptom of pallor and fatigue so as not to lead to more serious consequences such as enlargement of the liver or spleen. Always take care of your surroundings, attention to small changes in a child’s mood and physical can sometimes save a life.

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