Understanding Your Child's G6PD Deficiency


This article aims to give a basic guide for better understanding of the condition called G6PD Deficiency. A good understanding of G6PD deficiency will lead to better management of the condition so your child can continue to live a normal life. Remember to always seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and care.

What is G6PD?

G6PD deficiency is a lifelong genetic condition that may either be due to the absence of the G6PD enzyme in red blood cells, insufficient production of red blood cells - delete this or because the G6PD enzyme

What causes G6PD, and what are the signs/symptoms?

G6PD deficiency is an inherited condition that may be genetically passed down by one or both parents. Some mothers may be asymptomatic carriers while some fathers may be symptomatic carriers.

Children with mild symptoms usually don’t need medical treatment. If a G6PD deficient child is anemic, it may improve as the body makes new red blood cells. Children with more severe symptoms  may need hospital care.

For the health and medical concerns of your child, always seek medical advice from your doctor.

The following are common signs and symptoms of G6PD deficiency:

●        Paleness
●        Extreme tiredness or dizziness
●        Fast heartbeat
●        Fast breathing or shortness of breath
●        Jaundice or when the skin & eyes appear yellow
●        Dark, tea-colored urine

Some symptoms of G6PD deficiency may not be immediately evident. Symptoms from hemolytic anemia may surface as more red blood cells are destroyed. Your doctor may refer your child for additional tests to verify if the symptoms are consistent with G6PD deficiency.

What Should I Look Out For?

If your child has G6PD deficiency, seek medical advice from your doctor for guidance on what to look out for. There may be specific food, medications, or vitamins that you will need to avoid that may further damage the red blood cells.

Triggers or risk factors of G6PD deficiency in children may include:

●        infections (bacterial or viral)
●        medications including fever-reducing medicines
●        antibiotics and antimalarial drugs
●        foods containing soy protein and broad beans.

Always consult your doctor on food and medication intake when caring for your child with G6PD deficiency.

There is no treatment for G6PD deficiency but it can be managed by avoiding known triggers and strictly following your doctor’s advice and recommendations. Your child can live an active and healthy life as long as these triggers are kept at bay, and he/she is supported with a nutritious diet.



  1. AboutKidsHealth. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article
  2. Ben-Joseph, E. (Ed.). (2018, July). G6PD Deficiency (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from kidshealth.org/en/parents/g6pd.html
  3. Denney, L., Angeles-Agdeppa, I., Capanzana, M. V., Toledo, M. B., Donohue, J., & Carriquiry, A. (2018). Nutrient Intakes and Food Sources of Filipino Infants, Toddlers and Young Children are Inadequate: Findings from the National Nutrition Survey 2013. Nutrients, 10(11), 1730. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111730
  4. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2021, from medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000528.htm
  5. Newborn Screening Reference Center. (n.d.). Fact Sheets: Information for PARENTS about the disorders included in the Expanded Newborn Screening Panel. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://ihg.upm.edu.ph/sites/images/Fact%20Sheets_Parents.pdf
  6. Norliza. (2016, August 26). G6PD Screening in newborn. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from www.myhealth.gov.my/en/g6pd-screening-newborn/