Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, mostly known as the G6PD enzyme, is component of a cycle that helps in the metabolism of glucose. Serum G6PD levels are monitored with the help of a G6PD test which helps in the determination of deficiency of this enzyme in the body.
G6PD deficiency is actually a genetically transmitted disease which is carried through the X chromosome and is therefore most dominantly found in the male population of the society. Deficiency of this enzyme affects the RBC membrane and its stability, which ultimately leads the RBC’s to be destroyed by oxidizing agents.
G6PD deficiency is usually characterized by an abnormality in the pulse rate, darker colored urine, fatigue, fast breathing. These symptoms can also exaggerate due to the consumption or utilization of a number of food or other medications such as antibiotic, antimalarial drugs etc.
Due to the deficiency of the G6PD enzyme there are a number of factors that should be kept in mind in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle in a G6PD deficient patient. Special attention should be given to the diet.
The food given to a G6PD deficient patient should be such that it should not result in the formation of free radicals that ultimately damage the red blood cells or hemolysis. The diet given to these patients should contain antioxidants, consumption of whole grains need to be increased and a variety of vitamins should be consumed from diet instead of the supplements.
Usually, G6PD deficient patients are provided a list of foods to avoid. Vitamin K in excessive amount can result in the damage to red blood cells in such patients, and similarly Vitamin C in large amounts can also cause trouble.Th erefore, patients should consult their doctors before consumption of any additional vitamin supplements.
Additionally, patients should not consume fava or broad beans at any cost. Mothers of G6PD deficient babies are also restricted from consuming these beans during breast feeding.Othe r herbs such as chuan lian and san tze chze are prohibited to be consumed in G6PD deficient patients. Ginger has also been suspected to trigger jaundice in such patients and therefore it is recommended to not consume it.
There are certain chemical that have also been reported to cause hemolysis in G6PD deficient patients, these chemicals include naphthalene and aniline dyes, other food colors that consisted of a reddish orange food coloring agents.