Impact of TDT

HOW BETA (β)‑THALASSEMIA AFFECTS THE BODY

If β‑Thalassemiaa genetic blood disorder that reduces or eliminates the production of β‑globin is not treated, or poorly treated, it can lead to:

  • Anaemiaa condition where there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body's tissues (or lack of Red Blood Cellsa hemoglobin-containing cell that carries oxygen throughout your body )
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Poor nutrition and failure to grow in children
  • Pale or yellowing skin
  • Deformity of the face and skull
  • Infections
  • Organs that do not function properly and become enlarged (usually the liver or spleen)
  • Weakening and fragile bones that can cause pain
  • Anemia (or lack of red blood cells)
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Poor nutrition and failure to grow in children
  • Pale or yellowing skin
  • Deformity of the face and skull
  • Infections
  • Organs that do not function properly and become enlarged (usually the liver or spleen)
  • Weakening and fragile bones that can cause pain

The effects of β‑thalassemia differ from person to person based on how much β‑globin your body is actually producing. Some people with β‑thalassemia may get very sick when they are infants, while others do not have problems until they get older. There are people who can go their whole lives without ever having any symptoms.

Many people with β‑thalassemia require regular blood transfusions that may lead to too much iron in their organs (iron overload). High levels of iron in the heart and liver can lead to life-threatening complications. It is important to keep talking with your doctor about what works best for you and keeps you healthy.

UNDERSTANDING TRANSFUSION-DEPENDENT β-THALASSEMIA (TDT)

TDTa form of β‑thalassemia that requires regular transfusions of red blood cells is the most serious form of β‑thalassemia. People with TDT experience severe anemia, and rely on regular blood transfusions typically given every two to five weeks to survive. While these transfusions help with the symptoms of anemia, they do not address the disease at the genetic level.

“I’m working hard towards becoming a pastry chef, but sometimes my teacher thinks I’m just being lazy. Even when my β‑thalassemia slows me down, I will never let that be a reason I quit. This program is gonna take a lot out of me but, it's gonna be worth it. My doctor and I are working on what I can do to manage my disease and accomplish my goals.” 

Balancing Life with β‑thalassemia

Today you may find yourself working hard to balance your life with β‑thalassemia. But with the right support, your thal shouldn’t have to hold you back. Talking more with your doctor and setting goals can help. The Goals Guide is designed to help you have a different kind of conversation about your personal goals and your medical care.

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Learn more ways to help shape your future with β‑thalassemia when you sign up. Start with real-life stories from others living with TDT, continued education on β-thal, and tips for making goals—and sticking to them.