Thalassemia nutrition helps control iron levels by reducing anemia fatigue and relieving muscle pain, in addition to strengthening bones and teeth and osteoporosis.
The diet regimen depends on the type of thalassemia presented, because no special food is needed for minor forms of the disease, which are less severe and usually do not cause symptoms. Better understand what changes in each type of thalassemia here .
Intermediate Thalassemia Diet
In intermediate thalassemia, in which the patient has moderate anemia and may not need to receive a blood transfusion, it is necessary to increase the levels of calcium, vitamin D and folic acid, to improve the quality of life.
Calcium is important for strengthening bones, which may be weakened in thalassemia due to increased blood production, to reduce the anemia that the disease causes.
Thus, one should increase the intake of foods rich in calcium, such as milk and dairy products, green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, tofu, almonds and nuts. See all Calcium-rich Foods .
Folic acid is important to stimulate the body to increase blood production, helping to reduce anemia caused by the disease.
Foods rich in folic acid are mainly lentils, beans and dark green vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli and parsley. See other foods here .
Vitamin D is important for increasing calcium fixation in bones, also helping to prevent osteoporosis. It is present in foods such as fish, eggs and milk and dairy products.
However, most of the vitamin D in the body is produced from exposure of the skin to sunlight. Thus, it is important to sunbathe at least 3 times a week for about 20 minutes. See more tips on: How sunbathe effectively to produce Vitamin D .
Diet for Thalassemia Major
Thalassemia major is the most serious form of the disease, in which the patient needs to receive blood transfusions frequently. Due to transfusions, an accumulation of iron occurs in the body that can be harmful to organs such as the heart and liver.
Thus, one should avoid excess iron-rich foods, such as liver, red meats, seafood, egg yolks and beans. See the list with other foods here .
In addition, one should also increase the intake of foods that hinder the absorption of iron in the intestine, such as milk and dairy products and black tea. During a lunch or dinner where the main dish is red meat, for example, the dessert can be a yogurt, which is rich in calcium and helps to hinder the absorption of the iron present in the meat.
See how treatment with drugs and blood transfusions is done for each type of thalassemia.