G6PD Deficiency

Also called: Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a genetic disorder that is most common in males. About 1 in 10 African American males in the United States has it. G6PD deficiency mainly affects red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. The most common medical problem it can cause is hemolytic anemia. That happens when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them.

If you have G6PD deficiency, you may not have symptoms. Symptoms happen if your red blood cells are exposed to certain chemicals in food or medicine, certain bacterial or viral infections, or stress. They may include

A blood test can tell if you have it. Treatments include medicines to treat infection, avoiding substances that cause the problem with red blood cells, and sometimes transfusions.

NIH: National Library of Medicine

Symptoms of G6PD Deficiency

The following features are indicative of G6PD Deficiency:
  • prolonged neonatal jaundice
  • possibly leading to kernicterus
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • acute kidney failure
It is possible that G6PD Deficiency shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

Get TabletWise Pro

Thousands of Classes to Help You Become a Better You.

Common Causes of G6PD Deficiency

The following are the most common causes of G6PD Deficiency:
  • mutation in G6PD A and G6PD B genes

Risk Factors for G6PD Deficiency

The following factors may increase the likelihood of G6PD Deficiency:
  • stress from a bacterial or viral infection
  • intake of fava beans
  • use of quinine derived medications

Prevention of G6PD Deficiency

Yes, it may be possible to prevent G6PD Deficiency. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoidance of the drugs and foods that cause hemolysis
  • vaccination against some common pathogens like hepatitis A and hepatitis B may prevent infection-induced attacks

Occurrence of G6PD Deficiency

Number of Cases

The following are the number of G6PD Deficiency cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

G6PD Deficiency can occur at any age.

Common Gender

G6PD Deficiency can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of G6PD Deficiency

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect G6PD Deficiency:
  • Complete blood count and reticulocyte count: To see red blood cells on a blood film
  • Beutler fluorescent spot test: To identify Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) produced by G6PD under ultraviolet light.

Doctor for Diagnosis of G6PD Deficiency

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of G6PD Deficiency:
  • Medical geneticist

Complications of G6PD Deficiency if untreated

Yes, G6PD Deficiency causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if G6PD Deficiency is left untreated:
  • ischemic heart disease
  • cerebrovascular disease

Self-care for G6PD Deficiency

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of G6PD Deficiency:
  • Avoid things that trigger an episode such as stress

Patient Support for Treatment of G6PD Deficiency

The following actions may help G6PD Deficiency patients:
  • Join disease related support groups: Helps in knowing more about the disease which helps in coping

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 10/01/2020.
This page provides information for G6PD Deficiency.

Related Topics

G6PD Deficiency

Sign Up


Share with friends, get 20% off
Invite your friends to TabletWise learning marketplace. For each purchase they make, you get 20% off (upto $10) on your next purchase.