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Thread: Thalassemia?

  1. #1
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    Thalassemia?

    Does anyone have any information on this condition? Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by backache
    Does anyone have any information on this condition? Thanks for any input.
    Sounds like a greek chick I once dated.
    Who the hell are these children...and why are they calling me "Dad"?

  3. #3
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    yeah, i got a mild condition of it? what are u wanting to know?

    it's commonly carried by africans and i think some asians as well... it helps w/ resistence to malaria... it is to black ppl what CF is to europeans... u don't want the full blown thing, but to carry it is to aid in survival of the species.

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    I was diagnosed about a year ago. The doctor explained thalassemia as the defective production of hemoglobin in the red blood cells which is necessary to transport oxygen throughout the body. However, that is about all the information he could give me. I am looking for anyone with this condition to see how it has affected their cycling, and if there are any type treatments?
    Last edited by backache; 09-04-2008 at 10:24 AM.

  5. #5
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    Try webmd my friend. I also have it. It is basically a form of anemia. Results in mis-shaped red blood cells that do not carry O2 as well and also usually do not hold onto iron as well.

    As for treatments, I've seen iron and folic acid supplements be recommended to reduce the effects.

    People with it usually become tired or winded more quickly.

    And definitely a good thing to have your partner be screened for if you are to have biological children. Most folks are carriers, or have "minor". Having "major" is pretty much a death sentence. They very rarely make it out of childhood.

    On a sidenote, if your doctor can't tell you more about it, I'd recommend finding another doctor.

  6. #6
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    ah yes, of course! i'm a little slow today after a big big ride!

    i'm no med expert - you should def talk to one about it.... My thinking is that it varies, i've always had ~100% O2 saturation when hooked up to those HRM/BP machines when in hospital, and my blood work shows no real defficiency in iron.... My old man on the other hand has always been a little anaemic with low red and white cell counts.... so it definately varies, and so will its impact....JMO.

  7. #7
    Texas Cyclist
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    As krisdrum and web sources will tell you, it is a form of anemia primarily associated with Mediterranean (so Armchair Spaceman was partially right) and Middle Eastern people. I am Middle Eastern, and two of the four children in my family, as well as my father, have it. Unsupervised iron supplementation is not a good idea: as your blood cannot carry iron efficiently, it will be deposited and stored in your liver. I have ridden with my sister when her hemoglobin level was low: rather than spinning and riding aerobically, she was relying more on muscle to push larger gears. If you have it, plan on using more muscle than some of your paceline mates.

  8. #8
    No Crybabies
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    wife has it

    Quote Originally Posted by wankski
    ah yes, of course! i'm a little slow today after a big big ride!

    i'm no med expert - you should def talk to one about it.... My thinking is that it varies, i've always had ~100% O2 saturation when hooked up to those HRM/BP machines when in hospital, and my blood work shows no real defficiency in iron.... My old man on the other hand has always been a little anaemic with low red and white cell counts.... so it definately varies, and so will its impact....JMO.
    My wife, whose mother is from Italy with Egyptian genes, has it. It has similar effects as anemia, but iron supplementation won't work. Not a whole lot can be done to treat it. Makes her tired and low resistance. There is new research showing that EPO can be used as effective treatment, so this may be your ticket to legal performance enhancement! Google "EPO and thallassemia".
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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  9. #9
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    I also have it...alpha thalassemia, so it's the minor form. My PCP sent me to a hematologist to get a full work-up. It was there that they diagnosed me with the alpha type. He also said that I have nothing to worry about in terms of my health. A strong caution was given to have my future spouse checked for the same condition -- 2 alphas reproducing would not be a good thing.

    Anyhow, my iron levels and RBC count are normal, so the condition is nothing to freak out about. Of course, if you are thalassemic, then you should get bloodwork done.

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much for the information!

  11. #11
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    Anyone know of any online sources regarding thalassemia and endurance sports? Or more so any experts/doctors/training coach that specializes in this area?

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