Low level hemolysis is a demon you really don’t want to underestimate. Let me explain. When a baby with G6PDD is born, its body has not learned to adjust to hemolysis. Its liver is not mature and has a problem eliminating bilirubin (a chemical released by hemolysis) so its body is trying to cope with a low red blood cell count and a high bilirubin count, both of which can be life threatening.
The baby’s body takes time to learn to make more RBC’s than a normal baby. Within a couple of years, its body will learn and develop the ability to pretty much keep up with most hemolysis demands, IF its body has the resources in the form of B vitamins, etc. to do so. Its liver will become mature enough to handle the elevated bilirubin. Things will become “normal” for the child. UNLESS something unusual happens. The child becomes sick, or ingests a trigger that causes more hemolysis than its body has the ability to compensate for. The child will become anemic.
Here’s the problem. The more triggers the child (or adult) is exposed to, the more RBC’s the body has to make. If the body is at the limit of its ability to make red blood cells already due to low level hemolysis when it is exposed to another trigger, it is in trouble. Sometimes a crises ensues.
Low Level Hemolysis
Blood tests do not always tell the complete story. It is quite common for a CBC to show normal RBC and hemoglobin counts in a person who is undergoing low level hemolysis. The doctor tells the patient that all is well, when in fact, the opposite is true. How long do you think a person can keep over producing RBC’s with impunity? It takes more than a normal amount of resources to do this and it puts an abnormal amount of strain on the body’s organs. The spleen can become overworked and have to be removed. The heart is overworked. Liver, renal, etc. all are over worked and over stressed. Eventually, something has to give.
The Cost Over Time
Most of the time this happens in mid life, though it can manifest earlier. Many times the patient is labeled as a hypochondriac. Or perhaps misdiagnosed with a health condition that requires a medication that is contraindicated for those with G6PDD or the treatment makes matters worse. If the patient is very lucky, an astute doctor will discover the patient has G6PDD (if the patient doesn’t already know). According to a doctor in India, many older people die needlessly due to ignorance about G6PDD. And the sad truth of the matter is that so do infants.
If I sound harsh, I’m sorry. I have heard way too many horror stories. It is vital to your and your loved ones health that you know and understand the truth about G6PDD. Don’t play with fire. It isn’t worth the consequences as one doctor I am aware of found out the hard way. Unfortunately, he found out too late to save himself. I don’t mean to scare you, but you do have the right to know the truth.