What is G6PD?
G6PD deficiency is a very common condition and is hereditary. It does not affect everyday life, but can cause high sensitivity to certain types of chemicals and medications, with the chemical property of “oxidants.” These include mothballs, certain antibiotics for malaria, the sulfa antibiotics including Bactrim, a dye called methylene blue, and a vegetable called fava bean. The normal function of the enzyme G6PD (glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase) in the red blood cell is to protect the red blood cell contents from oxidation by such chemicals. A person with G6PD deficiency has low levels or no G6PD, and the red blood cells are not well-protected from these oxidant chemicals. When the person with G6PD deficiency is exposed to large amounts of these substances, he can suffer breakdown of red blood cells and become very anemic. His urine may become very dark, like the color of Coca-Cola. His eyes may become jaundiced (yellow-orange). The main implication of knowing that your son has G6PD
One of our forum member has a relative who gave birth to a newborn baby with G6PD deficiency. Gucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase(G6PD) deficiency is the most common human enzyme deficiency; an estimated 400 million people worldwide are affected by this enzymopathy (Scriver etal., 1995). One benefit of having G6PD deficiency is that it confers a resistance to malaria. G6PD deficiency is also sometimes referred to as favism since some G6PD deficient individuals are also allergic to fava beans. Individuals with reduced G6PD activity are at risk for several pathologies which can be potentially serious (even causing death) if they are not properly treated.The severity of the pathologies associated with G6PD deficiency has prompted researchers to study this condition. Since the discovery of G6PD deficiency in 1956, thousands of research papers have been published on various aspects of this genetic condition (Carson et al., 1956; Beutler, 1994). It is therefore important to learn about G6PD def