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Foods to Avoid When Suffering from G6PD Deficiency

Foods to Avoid When Suffering from G6PD Deficiency

People with G6PD deficiency need to avoid certain food items like peanuts, legumes, products that contain menthol, etc., which trigger reactions. Here is a list of the foods that should be refrained from in your diet.
Anuya Waghmare
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2018
Did you know?
According to a study published by the medical journal American Family Physician, globally, around 400 million people are affected by G6PD deficiency.
G6PD deficiency occurs when the body does not produce sufficient amount of the enzyme Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD), which is necessary for the proper functioning of the red blood cells. It is an inherited condition, that arises due to defects in the genes on X-chromosome, that affect the working of this enzyme. It causes hemolytic anemia, which may be triggered due to various reasons.
Stress or some medications may cause symptoms, which include tiredness, jaundice, headaches, dark urine, or increase in heart rate. Consumption of certain foods also triggers these, and hence, people diagnosed with G6PD deficiency should avoid certain food items to remain healthy. This HealthHearty article lists out the various foods that should be avoided, if one is suffering from this disorder.
G6PD Deficient? Avoid These Food Items
  •  Foods that contain menthol, like candies, toothpastes, chewing gums, mouthwash, etc., must be avoided by people with G6PD deficiency. Inhalation of menthol vapors is also not a good idea.
  • Legumes such as fava beans, kidney beans, and lima beans should not be consumed. Also, soy beans, and foods containing soy, like tofu, miso or soy protein, are a strict no-no.
  •  Peanuts, licorice, alfalfa sprouts, and products that contain these foods should be avoided at all times.
  •  Foods that contain ascorbic acid or vitamin C in large quantities should not be consumed.
  •  Artificial dyes, especially the color blue, should be avoided by people with G6PD deficiency.
  •  Refined sugar, corn syrup, and white flour, should be refrained from in the diet, as the body is deficient in the respective enzymes needed to break down these foods.
  • Drinking tonic water or eating bitter melon is forbidden for people suffering from G6PD deficiency.
  •  Some additional foods that should be refrained from are green peas, field peas, black-eyed peas, and some edible pods like Chinese pea pods and snow peas. Lentils, as well as some beans such as black beans or refried beans must not be eaten.
  •  Avoid Chinese food items, as they contain herbs like Rhizoma coptidis, margarita, Flos lonicerae, and Calculus bovis, that may trigger a hemolytic episode.
  •  Packaged foods may contain some ingredients that provoke a reaction, and so should be avoided. These foods include margarine, jarred salad dressings, canned fish and meat, hot dogs, processed meat, sausages, tinned soups, potato chips, low-fat cheeses, and different sauces like Worcestershire sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

Read the ingredients in processed foods carefully before buying or consuming these products. If you try to avoid certain foods, and know the triggers, it becomes easier to curb the symptoms of this disorder. Prevention is always the best cure. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Consult your doctor/dietitian for a customized diet plan, especially if you are suffering from any ailment.