WHAT IS SICKLE CELL ANEMIA
By definition Sickle Cell Anemia is a chronic inherited anemia that occurs primarily in individuals of African, Mediterranean, or southwest Asian ancestry who are homologous for the gene controlling hemoglobin S and that is characterized especially by episodic blocking of small blood vessels by sickle cells also called sickle cell disease.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic disease and affects the red blood cells. It changes the cells from a flexible disc into a rigid crescent shape.
When red cells take this shape veins get blocked. This can cause damage to many organs. The organ damage increases with time and leads to an early death.
This disease starts in childhood and lasts for a lifetime. When the cells take on the shape of a sickle, the cells also become sticky.
This causes difficulty in blood flow when cells flow through long narrow veins and capillaries. Low oxygenation occurs when the cells go through low oxygen areas and only complicates this already horrific disease.
CARRYING THE TRAIT
If anyone inherits one sickle cell gene and one normal gene usually don’t have any of the symptoms of the disease itself but the bad news is they can pass the disease to their children.
If a child has both parents that has the trait then the child has a 50/50 chance of having the disease. When the child has the trait of the disease he or she can pass it along to his or her off-springs.
The most common sign that accompany’s Sickle cell anemia is pain that may be dull, stabbing, throbbing, or sharp, and seems to come out of nowhere.
How severe it is and how long it lasts varies. Some people have crises here and there, while others may have them every month.
You might feel the pain anywhere in your body at any time. It may occur in the hands, feet, legs, chest, lower back or the arms.
You could experience difficulty breathing, exhaustion, tiredness, painful erections (if you’re a male), headaches and dizziness, and sometimes difficulty in moving certain body parts.
WHAT OTHER THINGS CAN SICKLE CELL ANEMIA CAUSE?
People with sickle cell disease, especially kids, are more likely to get infections. That’s because the disease damages the spleen, this is the part of our body that helps your body filter bacteria out of your blood.
When sickle cells block blood flow to the bones of major joints, it can cause bone tissue to die, it often happens in the hip joints of teenagers and adults with sickle cell disease.
Drink water or other fluids when your symptoms start. Staying hydrated can help you lessen the intensity of worst of an attack.
Use a heating pad on the area that seems to be hurting worse or take a warm bath to help your whole body. Try a massage, this will bring some relief to area where you are hurting and also help in circulation.
FOODS THAT HELP WITH SICKLE CELL ANEMIA
Eating calcium rich foods like low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese, green leafy vegetables, soy milk, orange juice and tofu are all excellent foods that help with this incredibly horrible disease.
LIFE EXPECTANCY WITH SICKLE CELL DISEASE
Among children and adults with sickle cell the median age at death was from forty-two years to sixty-eight years depending on which gender you were or which class of the disease you were effected with.
IS THE A CURE FOR SICKLE CELL DISEASE?
The research that has been done with stem cell transplants is the only hope so far for a cure for this dreaded disease. Most efforts have been concentrating on avoiding crisis, relieving symptoms and prevention of complications.