Hemolytic Anemia

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a hereditary condition in which red blood cells break down (hemolysis) when the body is exposed to certain foods, drugs, infections or stress. It occurs when a person is missing or has low levels of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.

In severe cases, it can even lead to kidney failure or death. Fortunately, symptoms of G6PD deficiency typically disappear once the trigger is recognized and removed. When the condition is identified through newborn screening and properly managed, children with G6PD deficiency often can lead healthy lives.
  • Symptoms
  • Fatigue


    Yellow eyes or skin


    Rapid heart rate


    Blood in urine

    or Dark urine


    Difficulty breathing

    • Occurs or worsens with exertion


    • Greater than or equal to 38°C (100.4°F), Less than 38°C (100. 4°F)

    Unusual lightness of skin color


    Back pain

    • Lower

    or Abdominal pain

  • Risk factors
  • Drug or substance abuse

    or Fava beans consumption

    or Recent upper respiratory tract infection

  • Treatment
  • Treating G6PD deficiency symptoms is usually as simple as removing the trigger. Often, this means treating the infection or stopping the use of a drug. A patient with severe anemia may need treatment in the hospital to get oxygen and fluids. Sometimes, a patient also needs a transfusion of healthy blood cells.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Hemolytic Anemia, then a visit to a general internist is recommended.

    Contact a

    General internist

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