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G6PD Lifestyle Guide

Updated 10/2021

Dear Readers,

Living with G6PDd can be very frustrating as there is no one-way symptoms manifest. Every G6PD deficient individual has limits and triggers that can be very unpredictable. Living with G6PDd is not a death sentence. Nutrition and wellness are ways we can protect ourselves from products and medications that include known G6PDd triggers. I hope that this information helps you to feel more confident living with G6PDd and knowing what you can do to feel your best and manage the condition.

In Solidarity,
Brianne Brathwaite MS RDN CDN

Oxidative Stress is known to compromise the health of the human body. Any stimuli (trigger) that cause oxidative stress could possibly bring on an attack of Acute Hemolytic Anemia to those who are G6PD deficient. We found established lists of drugs, chemicals, foods, & herbs that are known to cause oxidative stress. One who is G6PD deficient may be at risk for any known triggers. The level of risk for Hemolysis by each trigger depends on the G6PD deficiency variant type as well as the individuals within each G6PDd variant group. Thus discuss with healthcare provider to review such lists with you prior to prescribing medications and treatment. There is more research to be done to learn about these triggers. We are continuously working on an avoid list.


Hemolytic anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be made. Thus you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.

SYMPTOMS of Acute Hemolytic Anemia is usually characterized by malaise, fatigue or weakness, abdominal or back pain and after a day or so, jaundice and dark urine appear and anemia develops.

Here is what we have found out recently!

  • SICKNESS such as a cold or influenza is known to start the onset of G6PD deficiency symptoms. Avoid getting run down!
  • Assorted Legumes: (e.g. Fava Bean also known as Broad Bean, Windsor Bean, Horse Bean, Bell Bean, English dwarf bean, Fever bean, Haba bean, Tick bean, Pigeon bean & Silkworm bean.) Soy, Peanuts, Peas, Fenugreek and other legumes have also been noted as possible triggers.
  • Artificial food dyes found in processed foods are listed as a harmful G6PDd trigger.
  • 6 Asian Herbs to avoid
  • Bitter (Gourd-melon) also contains vicine which is believed to be the hemolytic agent found in the Fava Bean.
  • It is important when taking any G6PDd safe medication you follow the usual safe normal therapeutic medication doses for children/adult as advised by your healthcare provider.

Reported unsafe medication/chemicals:

  • Malaria prevention drugs (egs. Primaquine, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine)
  • Methylthioninium chloride (methylene blue) treatment for methemoglobinemia
  • Sulfa drugs [e.g. Sulfonamides & Sulfones (dapsone) Acne medicine [e.g. Aczone (dapsone)]
  • Urinary infection drugs [e.g. Baridium (phenazopyridine), Macrobid (nitrofurantoin), nalidixic acid & sulfamethoxazole]
  • Detoxifying agent for chemotherapy treatment [e.g. Elitek (rasburicase)]
  • Over counter salicylates medications [e.g. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), Anacin, Bufferin, Ecotrin, Empirin, Excedrin, Kaopectate & Pepto Bismol] *Best to avoid medicines that contain aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) when sick with higher than normal fever.*
  • Naphthalene (mothballs]
  • Beta-Naphthol or 2-Naphthol: [e.g. Sudan dyes for coloring fabrics & Asian spices]
  • Camphor and mentholated products
  • Henna dyes for hair & tattoos
  • Blue dyes — Methylene (contrast dyes) & Toluidine (dental-oral and thyroid cancer screening)
  • Naphtylhydroxylamine [e.g.household drain, oven & bathroom cleaners]
An effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by g6pdDF is accurate and up-to-date, but this information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, or other considerations relating to the therapies covered. The g6pd lifestyle guide does not advocate or endorse the use of any drug or other therapy and does not diagnose patients. Healthcare professionals should use their professional judgment in using this information, and this information should not be considered a substitute for the care and professional judgment provided by a licensed healthcare practitioner.