CNSHA or Chronic Nonspherocytic Hemolytic Anemia is a condition sometimes associated with G6PD Deficiency. According to Miwa and Fujii (1996) in 1996 there were about 400 million people world wide with G6PD Deficiency associated with chronic hemolytic anemia and/or drug or infection induced acute hemolytic attacks. CNSHA is a condition where the affected individual is always hemolyzing, even when not exposed to a trigger. This condition is classified as class I G6PD Deficiency.
CNSHA babies are much more susceptible to hemolysis until their bodies mature and become accustomed to producing the extra RBCs. If not diagnosed promptly and taken care of properly, this time of their lives can be very dangerous or even fatal. I have received many phone calls and emails over the years from frantic parents desperate to find a way to stop their babies from hemolyzing when the medical profession was unsuccessful. One such email recently came from my family. Note: Please do not give a G6PDD baby a vitamin K shot unless there is no other alternative. Having the mother eat foods high in vitamin K for several weeks prior to birth is a better solution. Here’s what to do.
- If the mother is not breastfeeding, if at all possible get the mother on a healthy diet and get the baby on breast milk. All baby formulas that I have researched have several problems. They contain one or more of the following: Soy, ascorbic acid, artificial vitamins (some derived from petrochemicals), other legume products and iron, among others. Cow or goat milk is preferable to baby formula. But a mother’s milk is the best, especially for a CNSHA baby.
- The mother MUST avoid all foods, drugs and other things on the avoid lists on this website.
- The baby’s environment must be cleaned and all petrochemcials removed, especially moth balls. Cleaning detergents should be free of petrochemicals, perfumes and other unnecessary chemicals. Natural cleaners such as vinegar and water are best.
- Protect the baby from infections, both viral and microbial. This is one of the big benefits of mother’s milk. Vaccinations should wait until the baby is stronger and hemolysis is under control.
CNSHA makes it much harder to stay healthy due to the body always having to make more than a normal amount of red blood cells (RBCs) and clean up the ones that die. One of the byproducts of hemolysis is bilirubin. Because the liver in newborn babies is immature, it is not able to git rid of the bilirubin and the baby turns yellow or jaundiced. If the amount of bilirubin gets high enough, it can cause neurological and brain damage or Kernicterus. See Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus (PICK) for more information.It is very important that jaundiced newborns and children get proper treatment quickly.
Okay, your baby survived infancy, like a marathon runner, we have to settle in for that long haul. This is going to be a life long problem and the better you are at controlling hemolysis, but healthier your child will be. Because of the constant hemolysis, additional hemolysis from triggers makes matters worse. Several families I know put the whole family on the G6PDD diet. There are two reasons for this. For one, the CNSHA or G6PDD child will not feel abnormal. And for another, a diet that reduces oxidative stress is good for everyone. It slows aging and helps prevent some cancers.
Usually, by the time a child reaches adulthood, hemolytic crises will be a thing of the past. Many times during the years between twenty and forty or fifty, we forget we have G6PDD, which is a tragic mistake. When our marathon runner forgets how far he has to run and starts pushing himself too hard, it can cost him the race and sometimes he is unable to finish it. We want our precious baby to live as long and be as healthy as possible.
As our body matures and becomes accustomed to the added stress of hemolysis it compensates for the RBC loss by learning to keep production of RBC’s a top priority and it takes resources to make RBC’s and clean up the dead ones. Here are some of the potential problems.
- Making RBC’s can actually lead to enlarged bones.
- Bilirubin removal can cause gall stones.
- Our liver is over worked.
- The B vitamins are depleted. Especially B6, Folic Acid and B12.
- We are prone to diabetes and other diabetic related problems, such as peripheral neuropathy. I personally do not believe that the diabetes we develop is the common form. Since G6PD is necessary for converting refined carbohydrates to a useable form I believe that this impaired function is responsible for our diabetes. I would love to see some research on this, if there are any medical researchers listening.
- Other medical problems can become worse.
- Renal failure is possible.
- Eye problems can manifest.
- Our immune system can become compromised.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis is a common disorder.
- Iron overload due to hemolysis.
As a rule, these things don’t just happen over night. They sneak up on us and by the time we realize what is going on, the damage is done. Although we can improve our health by following the rules on this website, some of the damage is irreversible. These problems are difficult to treat due to drug restrictions, and if the person manages to live this long without being diagnosed with G6PDD, it can be fatal.
There are generally three times in our life when we are the most vulnerable to CNSHA and G6PDD. Infancy, teenage years and elder years. Like a well that suddenly runs out of water, we think we are healthy until we start getting sick.
A doctor friend of mine told me the following story. A doctor took a common drug and hemolyzed. He was given blood and a rare consequence called TRALI killed him. His two daughters tested positive for G6PDD, which means that their father had it. Had he known, he would not have taken the drug and would not have died.
Another doctor from India sent me an email complaining that a lot of elderly people with G6PDD in his country were dying unnecessarily due to ignorance. They don’t know they have it and take the wrong medicine.
Our body needs to be as healthy as possible against the time when we have a crises. We need to be as knowledgeable about G6PDD as possible due to the general ignorance of the medical profession. We have to take control of our own health and health care.