This G6PD Deficiency Foods To Avoid List was created to share food triggers for this genetic disorder.
What is G6PD? G6PD Deficiency (glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency) is a hereditary genetic disorder that can lead to problems with anemia.
G6PD Deficiency as defined by G6PD.org:
G6PD Deficiency is a hereditary abnormality in the activity of an erythrocyte (red blood cell) enzyme. This enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), is essential for assuring a normal life span for red blood cells, and for oxidizing processes. This enzyme deficiency may provoke the sudden destruction of red blood cells and lead to hemolytic anemia with jaundice following the intake of fava beans, certain legumes and various drugs.
G6PD Deficiency Foods To Avoid
If you or a loved one lives with the g6pd deficiency at home, then you should know about these trigger foods that can cause problems.
Here’s information on G6PD deficiency triggers according to KidsHealth.org (source):
Triggers of hemolysis in kids with G6PD deficiency include: – illness, such as bacterial and viral infections, some painkillers and fever-lowering drugs [including aspirin], some antibiotics (most often those with “sulf” in their names), Quinine and other antimalarials derived from quinine. Most antimalarial drugs with “quine” in their names, Fava beans (also called broad beans) and Naphthalene (a chemical found in mothballs and moth crystals)
For a complete and official list of g6pd foods to avoid, your doctor should provide you all the information you need. These are just some of the main foods to avoid that I’ve compiled up myself as of recently.
Foods To Avoid List
Legumes are one of the worst culprit trigger food groups with the broad bean or Fava Bean being the worst. So number 1 on the avoid list are, Fava Beans.
- Fava Beans (Broad Beans):
Fava or Fave Beans are one of the the worst g6pd foods to avoid. If you’re nursing a baby with this genetic condition or you yourself have it, make sure you never consume these.
Because it’s good to know, and you never know, here’s how to say Fava Beans in many other languages: (source)
- Arabic: Foolle
- Catalan: Fava
- Chinese: Tzan-Doo
- Dutch: Tuinboon
- English: Fava or Broad Bean
- Farsi (Persian): Ba-ghe-Leh
- French: Fève
- German: Favabohnen (Fava bean), Dicke Bohnen (thick bean), Saubohnen (sow bean)
- Greek: Koukia (“Fava” is an appetizer made from dried fava beans)
- Hebrew: Polle
- Hungarian: Lóbab
- Italian: Fava (pl. fave)
- Kurdish: Paqla
- Malay: Kacang Parang
- Spanish: Haba
- Turkish: Bakla (“Fava” is an appetizer made from dried fava beans)
- Urdo (Pakistan and India): Lobhiya, Rajma, Jheam
- Thai (Thailand): two-ah pak-ah
- Legumes: Legumes in general are g6pd foods to avoid. Like fava beans/broad beans, many other legumes can bring on a hemolytic response.
Here, the Honor Society of Nursing has a good explanation of why legumes are bad for g6pdd.
Legumes and carbohydrates are the two main food groups that traditionally trigger G6PD deficiency symptoms. Legumes are plant products that include beans, peas, lentils, and soy. Fava beans in particular tend to trigger side effects. The carbohydrates that cause the most problems include white flour, refined sugars, and high fructose corn syrup, Additional food products that can cause G6PD deficiency syndromes to appear include tonic water, items that use blue food coloring, and products that contain sulfites, such as wine and dried fruits. – STTI
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Black beans
- Refried beans
- Lima beans
- Kidney beans
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Bean curds
- Soy Beans:
- Food products with soy (a lot of packaged products have it): Miso soup, tofu, soy protein and the countless packaged foods with soy derivatives.
- Black & Green tea and their extracts
There are mixed opinions on fresh blueberries and g6pd deficiency. The joy of freshly baked blueberry muffins in the morning may still be attainable. There are over 440 variants of this genetic disorder that range from mild to severe. Those with a moderate to mild type may handle blueberries without getting triggered, but in general, if playing it safe, blueberries are on the trigger foods list.
- Bitter Gourd
- Garden eggs (Eggplant):
From what I can see these are the same thing as eggplants. Garden egg may refer to the smaller eggplants common to Africa, the Mediterranean and parts of Asia.
Sulfites can cause hemolysis in G6PD deficient persons. Sulfite foods include very common ones like dried fruits, wine, wine vinegar, pickled foods, shrimp and even trail mix.
Many people besides those who have G6PDD have a sulfite sensitivity. The following foods taken from a WebMD list of sulfite containing foods and ingredients are good to avoid for g6pdd:
- Baked goods
- Soup mixes
- Canned vegetables
- Pickled foods
- Dried fruit
- Potato chips
- Trail mix
- Beer and wine
- Vegetable juices
- Sparkling grape juice
- Apple cider
- Bottled lemon juice and lime juice
- Many condiments
- Fresh or frozen shrimp
- Maraschino cherries
- Dehydrated, pre-cut, or peeled potatoes
Ingredients with sulfite to look for on food labels include: (source)
- Sulfur dioxide
- Potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite
- Sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite
- Menthol & Mints: chewing gum, mints, vapors, sprays, etc.
G6pd and menthol don’t pair well together. This means staying away from most toothpastes and mouthwashes. Luckily there are many great alternatives for teeth care and your dentist can refer some good menthol free products.
- Packaged meat
- Canned fish
- Packaged salad dressings
- Hot dogs
- Dried potatoes and potato chips
- Low fat cheese
- Sausage and other processed meats
- Sweet & sour sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Ascorbic acid
- Packaged Gluten Free Foods
- Tonic water
- Bitter melon
- Simple carbohydrates: corn syrup, white flour and refined sugar
- Peanut containing foods
- Vitamin K:Vitamin K3 may be tied with hemolytic anemia.
- Artificial Blue Coloring: Blue food colorings like Toluidine Blue are dangerous for those with g6pd. All artificial dyes could be g6pd deficiency triggers.
- Chinese Herbs:
Certain Chinese herbs like Rhizoma coptidis, Flos Ionicerae and Calculus Boris have been known to cause hemolytic responses in people with g6pdd. For more on Chinese herbs to avoid for g6pd deficiency, go here to see all the avoid herbs list Chinese Herbs to Avoid.
Conclusion: G6PD Deficiency Foods To Avoid
G6pd deficiency foods to avoid are just one category out of multiple that must be learned if you or someone in your family has the g6pd deficiency inheritance. It’s easy to work around any potential triggers if everyone in the household becomes knowledgeable about it.
The key to staying symptom free and not letting g6pd deficiency negatively affect you is to avoid triggers.
Exposing red blood cells to triggers leads to hemolytic anemia.
G6PD deficiency is a lifelong condition that can be very successfully managed forever. 700,000,000 have g6pd deficiency. It’s easily manageable if you know all the trigger dangers.
As well as foods to avoid, there are many medications and household common chemicals that need to be avoided, like mothballs (naphthalene), hair dyes, henna tattoos, menthol containing cleaners, rubs and also pesticides.
If there’s a G6PD Deficiency diet, it may be a diet rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
Simple carbohydrates are g6pd deficiency foods to avoid in themselves, so a more paleo style of eating or Mediterranean with the healthy oils and fats, minus the wines, could be good. Step one is learning all the G6pd deficiency foods to avoid. Next it seems like a good idea to learn about any successful G6PD Deficiency diets or ways of eating that have a good track record of keeping complications away.
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