Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Simi Paknikar
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Simi Paknikar, MD
Last Updated on Jan 30, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult to rule out G6PD deficiency?

If you have sudden unexplained episodes of anemia, jaundice and passing dark colored urine, consult a general physician or internal medicine specialist for further evaluation.

2. Is G6PD deficiency a common condition?

G6PD deficiency is a fairly common condition. Approximately 400 million persons worldwide have this condition. One out of every 10 African-American males is affected by this disorder.

3. How does G6PD deficiency protect against malaria infection?

Deficiency of G6PD makes it difficult for the malarial parasite to invade the red blood cell and infect them. In fact, G6PD deficiency is often encountered in parts of the world where malaria is endemic and may actually protect the individual from malaria.

4. What foods have to be avoided in G6PD deficiency?

You should particularly avoid fava beans. Some persons may need to avoid all types of beans, blueberries, soya products, tonic water red wine, foods rich in vitamin C (citrus fruits), and food with artificial blue coloring.

5. What is the normal value of G6PD?

The normal range in adults is 5.5-20.5 units/gm of hemoglobin. Any value less than 10% of normal indicates severe deficiency.

6. Can a person with G6PD deficiency donate blood?

It is preferable for persons with G6PD deficiency to donate platelets or plasma instead of whole blood, if they wish to.

7. Can G6PD deficiency be cured?

G6PD deficiency cannot be cured. Avoiding the trigger factors is the key to preventing hemolytic episodes.

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