Extreme weakness, palpitations, rapid fatigue, darkening in the skin, Deceleration of development are some of the most common symptoms of thalassemia disease, popularly known as ‘Mediterranean anemia’. Noting that it is possible to give birth to a healthy baby thanks to advances in medicine and technology, genetic diagnosis today, Professor Doctor in Antalya says that the disease can also be treated with a stem cell transplant…

Thalassemia, which is one of the most common hereditary diseases, is passed on to the child from his parents due to genes.

Turkey Medicals member and hospital head of department Hematology Specialist Prof. Dr. listed the 7 most curious questions about the thalassemia disease:

1-What are the symptoms of thalassemia disease?

Damaged caused by genes from the mother and father, a genetic blood disease, severe anemia, thalassemia, and accordingly, extreme weakness, fatigue, apathy around, color, pallor, palpitations, and shows itself in symptoms such as growth retardation. Darkening in the color of the skin and urine can also occur with stones in the gallbladder, liver size, heart failure, and disorders in the skeletal system.

2- What are the risk factors for thalassemia?

Since thalassemia is a hereditary disease, environmental factors do not pose a risk. Stating that children whose parents are carriers of thalassemia disease are at risk, Prof. Dr. spoke as follows:

“Scientific studies conducted show that as a result of the marriage of two carriers, each child has a 25 percent chance of being born with a disease, 50 percent chance of being a carrier, and 25 percent chance of being born normal.”

3- How is a thalassemia patient different from a thalassemia carrier?

Thalassemia sufferers, unlike thalassemia carriers, need constant new blood transfusions for a lifetime. It so happens that it is impossible for them to live their lives without getting new blood every three to four weeks, but thanks to this they can reach adulthood. People who are carriers of thalassemia do not need a blood transfusion. A slight level of anemia and, accordingly, weakness may be observed in thalassemia carriers. Most carriers do not have any findings, but they find out that they are carriers of thalassemia after the tests they have done by chance.

4- ‘I am the carrier, not my wife. What is the risk to our child?’

In order for thalassemia to occur, which ranks first among the most common genetic diseases in our country, mom and dad must both be carriers. If a beta thalassemia carrier marries a non-carrier person, there is a 50 percent chance of being a carrier and 50 percent chance of being healthy for each child that will be born. In the case of carriage, the disease does not occur. But if one of the parents has a carrier, and the other is normal, the child does not have a disease, but the carrier can be observed. Especially in inbreeding marriages, since the risk of a child coming into the world with a disease is high, these people must necessarily undergo the necessary examinations before marriage. Thalassemia carriers can have children with a normal or IVF method, provided that they know the risks.

5- Can thalassemia disease be prevented?

Today, thanks to the rapid developments in technology and medicine, it is possible to prevent thalassemia disease. It is also possible for the babies of surrogate couples to be born healthy with the method developed in the light of genetic scientific developments. However, for this purpose, couples must be tested and screened for thalassemia before marriage. If it is determined that couples have carrier genes that can lead to Mediterranean anemia disease with a genetic diagnosis, the probability that their children who will be born will also be carriers or sick can also be calculated.

6- What should be the lifestyle in thalassemia?

It is important that thalassemia patients eat healthy, just like every person should. But they do not need to follow a special diet. It is necessary to have a blood check once a year. However, it is absolutely not necessary to use vitamins and especially iron medication without a doctor’s recommendation.

7- Is there a definite cure for thalassemia disease?

Since thalassemia is a hereditary disease, it is not possible to treat it with medication. Stem cell transplant is the definitive treatment for thalassemia today. If a successful transplant takes place, the patient can continue his life without blood support and the side effects that it brings. The bone marrow transplant in Turkey is procedure in which a patient with thalassemia has a bone marrow transplant.

Currently, gene transplant therapy, which is being studied today, is not yet being applied to patients.


Follow me
President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
Follow me