Helpful Tips to Managing G6PD Deficiency

Learning that your child has a medical condition can be worrying and distressing. As parents, you want to do all you can to help your child lead a normal and healthy life. Many questions abound. What can I do now?  Is the condition manageable? Can my child grow out of it? The first step is to understand what you are dealing with to determine what you can do to help manage the condition.

Understanding G6PD deficiency

G6PD deficiency is a genetic condition that affects red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Exposure to specific triggers may cause these cells to break down and cause anemia. The excessive breakdown of these cells can also lead to children developing jaundice which manifests as yellow skin, eyes, and tongue.

While G6PD is a genetic condition, not everyone with G6PD deficiency is affected in the same way. Some people may be affected mildly, while others may have severe symptoms needing hospital care.

If your child develops any of the following, it is best to take them to the doctor immediately:

  • Pale skin
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Dark urine

 

Click HERE to download a printable infographic for G6PD signs and symptoms.

Living with G6PD deficiency

G6PD is a lifelong condition but treating its symptoms is usually as simple as removing specific triggers.  

Things children with G6PD Deficiency should avoid:

  • Foods: Fava beans, Soy products, Legumes, or Tonic water
  • Chemicals: Naphthalene (found in mothballs and some toilet deodorant)
  • Certain antibiotics: Sulfonamides, Co-trimoxazole
  • Certain Malarials
  • Other drugs: Aspirin, Large doses of vitamin C

 

Click HERE to download a printable infographic of G6PD triggers.

Other things to be done:

  • CHECK with your doctor for instructions and the complete trigger list

  • INFORM everyone who will be taking care of your child that your child has G6PD deficiency

  • READ the label of any medication you bought without prescriptions, and be careful in using herbal medicine

  • CHECK the label of any food products for known triggers

Milk drinks are important nutrition support for growing children. When choosing a suitable milk drink for children with G6PD deficiency, be sure to check the milk product is FREE FROM Soy ingredients. Click HERE to learn more. 

Overwhelming as it may seem, G6PD is very manageable. Nearly everyone with this condition can lead a normal and healthy life by simply taking extra precautions and avoiding specific triggers.

 

For related articles on G6PD Deficiency, please check the following:

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information included in this material is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice for any concerns about health and nutrition.


References:

  1. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. G6PD deficiency. RCH resource page. Available at: www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/G6PD_deficiency/. Accessed 11 June 2021.
  2. Nagalla S. Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Treatment & Management. Medscape resource page. Available at: emedicine.medscape.com/article/200390-treatment#d10. Accessed 11 June 2021.
  3. Western Sydney Local Health District. Fact Sheet G6PD deficiency (Favism). Western Sydney Local Health District resource page. Available at:https://www.wslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/1024/G6PD%20deficiency_Favism%20FINAL%20Oct2018.pdf.aspx. Accessed 11 June 2021.