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G6PD stands for Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase. This is an enzyme in the human body that aids the red blood cells in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the heart. Lack or insufficiency of this important enzyme results to a condition known as G6PD Deficiency. This condition is highly inherited in an X-linked pattern. Presence of only one X chromosome in the male genes makes them more susceptible to this condition. However, this is not always the case as females may also be affected due to unfavorable Iyonization.  

In affected individuals, there is prevalence of hemolysis, which is basically destruction of red blood cells. The red blood cells are destroyed by affected G6PD enzymes which are supposed to protect them. This rapid destruction of red blood cells means that the bone marrow does not compensate by producing enough red blood cells, compared to the destroyed red blood cells.

Causes of G6PD Deficiency

The main cause of G6PD Deficiency is genetic inheritance. This means that if your parent is affected by this condition, your chances of getting affected by this condition are very high.

Environmental factors and use of drugs can also trigger Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency. Drugs like premaquine and chloroquine have been proved to cause this condition, though they have to be used in very high dosage.

Who are more susceptible to G6PD Deficiency?

African-American males are the most susceptible to Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency. This is due to prevalence of many African-American females to being carriers of the condition, although very few of the women experience Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency.

People living in Africa are also at a huge risk of being affected, as about 20% of the population is affected. Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase deficiency has also been observed in Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, where about 4-30% of the population is affected.

Symptoms of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

  • · Secretion of dark yellow-orange urine.
  • · Heavy and fast breathing.
  • · Fatigue and pallor leading to deterioration of your general physical conditions.
  • · Sudden body temperature rise and yellow coloring of the skin.
  • · A weak and rapid pulse rate.

Treatment of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency

On detection of the afore named symptoms, visit your physician or seek advice from the nearest hospital. Avoid intake of self-prescribed over-the-counter drugs as they may worsen your condition. Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase is cured through therapy and prohibition of some food stuffs. If medical attention is sought in good time, no medical treatment is needed; the body will generate red blood cells anew. In case extreme cases, blood transfusion is recommended that will see the patient’s infected blood replaced by new and fresh blood.

The surest and best way to deal with G6PD Deficiency is by limiting its triggers of its symptoms and always taking precaution thus your child will live a healthier and happier life.