G6PD deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) is a genetic condition that affects the function of red blood cells. The condition is caused by a deficiency of an enzyme called G6PD, which plays a critical role in protecting red blood cells from damage caused by certain chemicals and drugs.
G6PD deficiency is most common in males, particularly those of African, Mediterranean, or Asian descent. Females can also be affected, but the condition is generally less severe in women.
Symptoms of G6PD deficiency can vary, but may include hemolytic anemia (a condition in which the red blood cells break down faster than they are produced), jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), and fatigue. Symptoms can be triggered by a number of factors, including certain medications, infections, and dietary factors.
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Treatment for G6PD deficiency typically involves avoiding triggers and taking steps to manage symptoms when they occur. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary.
It is important to note that G6PD deficiency is a genetic condition and cannot be prevented. However, individuals who are aware of their condition can take steps to avoid triggers and manage their symptoms effectively. Genetic counseling and testing may be recommended for individuals with a family history of G6PD deficiency or those who are at risk of passing the condition on to their children.