Everything you need to know about Sickle Cell disease including its symptoms and treatments!
Sickle cell disease is a hereditary blood disorder and one of the commonest genetic disorders known to affect many people. The disease has affected about 100,000 people in America. Usually it is known to affect Black Africans and Black Americans. Other races affected by this condition are Central and South Americans, people from the Caribbean, Mediterranean countries and India. The red blood cells contain haemoglobin which is an oxygen carrying protein found in the blood. These red blood cells or RBCs are round and flexible in shape so that they are able to easily navigate through the blood vessels in order to deliver oxygen to all parts of the body. Once the body gets affected by sickle cell disease, the red blood cells form into a crescent shape resembling a sickle. Such RBCs easily break apart resulting in anemia. While the normal RBCs survive for about 120 days the sickle shaped RBCs live for up to 10 to 20 days only. Here let us know about the various symptoms of sickle cell disease and the treatments available for the condition.
1 Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease
The common sites to be affected by the sickle cell disease are liver, lungs, bone, muscles, spleen, brain, eyes, kidneys and penis. The affected person’s immune system weakens all of a sudden. They are highly vulnerable to infections such as pneumonia, flu viruses and salmonella. Severe pain is a first-hand symptom of this disease. The most common culprits to start such severe pain are:
- Hypoxia (reduction of oxygen in the body)
- Cold exposure
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Parts of the body from where the disease starts!
There are four patterns of the acute sickle cell disease crisis based on the body part where it occurs. Let us see what they are!