Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
- G6PD deficiency
- Hemolytic anemia due to G6PD deficiency
Your QuestionMy brother has glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Most of the information I have found regarding this condition relates to children and infants. How can I find information specific to adults with this condition? How is this condition managed?
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Questions on this page
- What is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?
- What are the signs and symptoms of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?
- What causes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?
- What can trigger the symptoms of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?
- How is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency inherited?
- How might glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency be treated?
- How can I find information specific to adults with glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency?
Researchers believe that carriers of a mutation in the G6PD gene may be partially protected against malaria, an infectious disease carried by a certain type of mosquito. A reduction in the amount of functional glucose-6-dehydrogenase appears to make it more difficult for this parasite to invade red blood cells. G6PD deficiency occurs more frequently in areas of the world where malaria is common.
Mutations in the G6PD gene lower the amount of G6PD or alter its structure, lessening its ability to play its protective role. As a result, reactive oxygen species can accumulate and damage red blood cells. Factors such as infections, certain drugs, or eating fava beans can increase the levels of reactive oxygen species, causing red blood cells to be destroyed faster than the body can replace them. This reduction of red blood cells causes the signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency.
The red blood cell destruction seen in G6PD deficiency can be triggered by viral or bacterial infections, severe stress, certain foods (such as fava beans), and certain drugs, including:
- Antimalarial drugs
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
The G6PD Deficiency Association, which is an advocacy group that provides information and supportive resources to individuals and families affected by G6PD deficiency, provides a list of drugs and food ingredients that individuals with this condition should avoid. They also maintain a list of low risk drugs that are generally safe to take in low doses.
You can find relevant journal articles on glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency specific to adults through a service called PubMed, a searchable database of medical literature. Information on finding an article and its title, authors, and publishing details is listed here. Some articles are available as a complete document, while information on other studies is available as a summary abstract. To obtain the full article, contact a medical/university library (or your local library for interlibrary loan), or order it online using the following link. Using "glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency[ti] AND adults" as your search term should locate articles. To narrow your search, click on the “Limits” tab under the search box and specify your criteria for locating more relevant articles. Click here to view a search.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Web site has a page for locating libraries in your area that can provide direct access to these journals (print or online). The Web page also describes how you can get these articles through interlibrary loan and Loansome Doc (an NLM document-ordering service). You can access this page at the following link http://nnlm.gov/members/. You can also contact the NLM toll-free at 888-346-3656 to locate libraries in your area.
- Todd Gersten. Glucose-6-phosphate deficiency. MedlinePlus. February 24, 2014; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000528.htm.
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). May 2006; http://www.ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase-deficiency. Accessed 10/11/2011.
- Dugdale DC, Mason JR. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency . MedlinePlus. March 2010; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000528.htm. Accessed 10/11/2011.
- Ducrocq R. Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase deficiency. Orphanet. 2004; http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?Lng=EN&Expert=362. Accessed 10/11/2011.