A Sydney mother was forced to rush her son to hospital after he became ill eating a common snack.
In the Facebook group North Shore Mums, the woman revealed her five-year-old turned yellow in colour after consuming three packs of fava beans — more commonly known as broad beans.
“Ever eaten or given your kids fava beans? Just something to be aware of … my 5 year old is currently in hospital and very sick after eating 3 packets of these this week,” Jen wrote in the group.
“He’s had a pack or so every now and then, but not as much as he did this week.”
The mum thought her boy had a cold, but on Saturday she noticed he was yellow in colour, his urine was dark and he could barely wake up.
“Took him to doctor and they said straight to emergency,” Jen said, explaining he was diagnosed with a G6PD deficiency that they were unaware of. where symptoms are triggered.
She said she was advised the deficiency led to her son’s body breaking down his red blood cells, causing his symptoms.
She warned other mums to be aware of the G6PD deficiency, an enzyme important in protecting the red blood cells, which affects 400 million people worldwide. In her son the main triggers are “moth balls and fava beans”.
According to KidsHealth, G6PD deficiency mainly affect males.
But in kids, it can be triggered by painkillers and fever-lowering drugs and fava beans.
It is described as a genetic disorder that happens when “the body doesn’t have enough of an enzyme called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase”.
“G6PD helps red blood cells work. It also protects them from substances in the blood that could harm them,” KidsHealth states.
“Without enough G6PD to protect them, the red blood cells break apart.”
The online health site states red blood cells that don’t have enough G6PD are sensitive to some medicines, foods, and infections.
“When these things trigger a quick loss of red blood cells over a short time, it’s called a haemolytic crisis.”
While most people with G6PD deficiency don’t have any symptoms, others might have symptoms of haemolytic anaemia if many red blood cells are destroyed — these include
extreme tiredness or dizziness, dark, tea-coloured urine and paleness.
The mum said her son was now doing fine but wanted to warn others.
“Our son will be fine but just thought it was something that was useful to know as we certainly had no idea.”