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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is G6PD deficiency diagnosed?

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  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    G6PD can be diagnosed by a blood test. It is hereditary so if one male in the family has it, the other males should be tested. G6PD deficiency is an inherited condition in which the body doesn't have enough of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, or G6PD, which helps red blood cells (RBCs) function normally. This deficiency can cause haemolytic anaemia, usually after exposure to certain medications, foods, or even infections.
    Most people with G6PD deficiency don't have any symptoms, while others develop symptoms of anaemia only after RBCs have been destroyed, a condition called haemolysis. In these cases, the symptoms disappear once the cause, or trigger, is removed. In rare cases, G6PD deficiency leads to chronic anaemia. Consequently if a person suffers from chronic anaemia they should be tested for G6PD.
    With the right precautions, a person with G6PD deficiency can lead a healthy and active life.

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