G6PD Deficiency In Child And Unpredictable Dangers Parents Should Know!

Lack of enzyme G6PD can cause dangerous diseases in babies if not detected in time, affecting the healthy development of the baby. But many parents are still quite vague, even do not understand the concept of G6PD deficiency, what the causes come from, what to do when a child has G6PD deficiency to quickly cure. If you are still wondering about this issue, let's find out useful information below!

What Is G6PD Deficiency?


The enzyme G6PD has the full name Glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase. For the normal human body, G6DP enzyme will be produced in every cell, participating in the cell's metabolic response, helping red blood cell membranes to be stable against pathogens caused by oxidizing.

But when the enzyme G6PD is deficient, the metabolism will be stopped, the red blood cells become sensitive and fragile, which causes damage to the body, affecting the normal development of the child in the long run.

Trigger Factor G6PD Enzyme Deficiency Disease


Normally, children with G6PD deficiency are still growing as well and healthy as other children, but exposure to oxidants causes the disease to onset, often divided into 3 main groups:

  • Due to food: When eating foods high in antioxidants, the most common are broad beans (Fava).
  • Due to the use of drugs containing hemolytic ingredients such as Sulfonamides, Methyldopa, vitamin K, vitamin C is too high doses …
  • Due to infection: Hepatitis virus, E.coli bacteria will make the onset of the disease quickly.

Also during breastfeeding, if the mother eats food or takes medicine, the baby's illness will be triggered through the milk containing antioxidants.

Who Is At Risk For The G6PD Deficiency?


Actually, lack of enzyme G6PD is a common cause caused by genetic factors. According to statistics, currently, in the world, an estimated 400 million people suffer from this disease, and many people in Asia, the Mediterranean, especially Africans account for about 15 -26%. In Vietnam, up to 3 to 4 babies born in 1000 babies are at risk of disease. Because people with G6PD deficiency will suffer from a very severe Fava bean allergy, it is also known as "Favism".

The risk of deficiency of enzyme G6PD in men is higher than in women because it is a recessive genetic disease on the X chromosome from parents because boys have only one X chromosome. If gender is abnormal, then there is a risk of disease.

In a family, if someone has a disease caused by a deficiency of the enzyme G6PD, members of the F1 generation, including siblings, are also at risk. In addition, people who have identified G6DP enzyme deficiency are also capable of carrying disease genes in humans continue to inherit for the next generation.

G6PD enzyme deficiency is not transmitted from person to person through common infectious ways such as eating, drinking, sharing living food … Only carries genetic elements from the family, so it does not cause problems in life if parents know how to take care to avoid the factors that trigger the disease.

What Are The Dangers of G6PD Deficiency?


Is it dangerous if a baby is born with G6PD deficiency? It is the biggest concern of parents when having a child with this disease. Actually, depending on the early or late detection of the disease, it will cause varying degrees of mild to severe effects on the child's body.

The enzyme G6PD is produced to help red blood cells fight oxidizing agents. When a child's body is deficient in the G6PD enzyme, red blood cells are less stable, easily broken when attacked by antioxidants, leading to hemolysis.

If the hemolytic condition lasts for a long time, it will cause anemia in the child, making the amount of oxygen not enough to supply life activities, the child becomes tired, inflexible, has a fast heartbeat, poor physical development. If the child has severe anemia, the liver and kidney function will be impaired, causing death if not detected and treated promptly.

Not only that, but broken red blood cells also cause jaundice in children because the free Bilirubin is released into the bloodstream, then the body cannot be eliminated in time, causing the concentration of this substance to increase. The more serious damage caused by the lack of enzyme G6PD will affect the nervous system, cause jaundice, lead to complications of cerebral palsy, make the baby slow to develop in all aspects, and difficult to recover.

However, if the G6PD enzyme deficiency disease through newborn screening will help detect quickly, minimizing unnecessary risks. When parents know how to properly care for their children, eliminating allergens through food and medicine will help children stay healthy and develop well despite the illness.

Signs When Children Lack The Enzyme G6PD

Lack of enzyme G6PD in children is difficult to recognize because there are no obvious symptoms. Children only manifest the disease until they are exposed to pathogens from different sources such as food, medications, or through high-oxidizing breast milk.

Depending on the level of the G6PD enzyme deficiency of the body will have different reactions, usually causing the manifestations such as:

  • Causes jaundice, which can be checked by observing the child's skin color in a bright light about 1-2 days after birth. But for children with severe G6PD deficiency, jaundice is often present at birth.
  • Baby has unusual manifestations such as Sucking, fussy crying, high fever, difficulty breathing, fast pulse, vomiting, dark urine …

When the baby has the above signs, the baby may have had G6PD deficiency, this will cause dangerous complications for the child's body if parents mistake it with common diseases. Therefore, in order to limit the risk of late detection causing serious consequences, parents should prevent them by doing newborn screening through heel blood drawing in babies within 48 hours after birth to test for disease control.

Test For Control of G6PD Deficiency In Children


Currently, there is no method to completely cure G6PD enzyme deficiency in children. Therefore, the best method is through screening to detect in time, considering the level of G6PD enzyme deficiency in children and how to prevent consequences caused by pathogens.

This is a genetic disease, if the parent carrying the disease gene in the person should not be subjective, it is necessary to do a thorough pre and postpartum test to avoid causing a serious impact on the child.

When parents have a good way of prevention, taking proper care of their baby in the early stages of life is extremely important to keep children as safe and healthy as their peers.

What To Do When A Child Lacks G6PD Enzyme

When a child has G6PD deficiency it is most essential to stay away from the factors that cause the disease to trigger. Many parents are overly concerned and do not know how to take care of it properly.

In fact, depending on the level of G6PD deficiency in children is high or low, parents have the right way to care and abstain from them, limit or completely eliminate oxidizing agents from foods and drugs. Based on the test results, parents can consult with specialist doctors to have the best nutrition for each baby's condition.

Infection is also a cause of disease onset, so parents need to give their babies a full vaccination such as hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus.

When the disease has turned acute phase, red blood cells rupture, blood transfusion is also an urgent method to treat the disease is to alleviate symptoms caused by a G6PD enzyme deficiency. Because the red blood cells of the donor will last longer, the body is provided with enough oxygen for all life activities to take place normally. If the situation gets worse, doctors will perform dialysis for the patient.

Some notes parents can refer to as follows:

  • Stay away from medicines that can cause hemolysis for your baby, usually in the worm bleach groups containing Niridazole, Stibophen, antibiotics containing Nitrofuran, Chloramphenicol, antimalarial drugs containing mepacrine, use drugs with Vitamin K …
  • When a child is sick or has a high fever if the parents are not familiar with the drug, they should not be arbitrarily used, the best way is to bring the baby to the hospital and state the G6PD deficiency condition to be properly treated by a specialist.
  • Absolutely not use camphor in the house, to easily accessible places such as wardrobe, bedroom, on the bed …
  • Do not use drugs without the prescription of a doctor, especially other supplements besides western medicines such as traditional medicine, herbal medicine, dried herbs …
  • Fava beans, also known as silkworm beans, are a powerful oxidizing agent that cannot be used for children with G6PD deficiency.
  • Besides, be very careful when using legumes and bean products such as soybeans, black beans, red beans, peas, cowpeas …
  • Sulfite-containing foods that contain oxidants should also be limited such as Fish lettuce, chips, canned tomato sauce …
  • Not only stay away from foods containing high oxidants for people with G6PD deficiency, but also for mothers who breastfeed postpartum, should also pay attention not to use these foods. Because the source of breast milk will also cause direct effects on the child's body.


Thus, G6PD enzyme deficiency in children is a disease if parents understand and avoid the factors that trigger the disease will help children have a normal life and healthy development. To do this, parents need to pay attention to the child's manifestations and the best way is to screen the newborn to be proactive against G6PD enzyme deficiency.

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The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.

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