What is Sickle cell anemia? Anemia is a disease where the red blood cells count falls below the normal levels
What is Sickle cell anemia?
Anemia is a disease where the red blood cells count falls below the normal levels. Your blood does not contain enough amounts of hemoglobin which results in lower counts of red blood cells. Sickle cells are deformed abnormal red blood cells. These cells are therefore, weak and fragile. This happens due to genetic disorder which means that the sickle cell anemia is a hereditary disease. The abnormality in the shape causes them to break down earlier than their expected life span, and thereby reducing the red blood cell count. This leads to anemic condition.
Symptoms of sickle cell anemia
Symptoms start to become evident at 4 month stage of disease. Symptoms are very painful and severe. Following symptoms are commonly observed in this disease:
Abdominal pain is the major symptom.
Pain in bones is another common symptom. This happens due to insufficient hemoglobin levels in the blood.
Breathlessness, fatigue may also happen.
Delayed growth and puberty in children is an effect of this disease.
Fever, paleness and increased heart rate may occur.
Eyes may look pale and yellow. Many a times yellowing of eyes and skin may be lead to misinterpretation. As these symptoms are common with jaundice.
One may feel thirsty frequently while at same frequency of urination may also increase.
Skin ulcers and various ulcers may also result.
All these symptoms cause extreme discomfort and lead to condition of crisis in the patient. Therefore, patient may suffer terribly.
Causes of sickle cell anemia
Major reason that is responsible for the severe symptoms of sickle cell anemia is that the protein hemoglobin in the blood depletes drastically. This protein is responsible for carrying oxygen to the various tissues and organs. As hemoglobin is not available in sufficient amounts the capacity of the organs and tissues decreases leading to weakness and pain. Hemoglobin cells are sickle cells called as hemoglobin S. This disease is mainly caused due to cell mutation. Mutations of cells are generally the result of genetic disorders.
Diagnosis and Treatments
Sickle cell anemia may remain undiagnosed for months unless the symptoms become evident. Series of blood tests need to be performed for the confirmation of disease. Along with this sickle cell test, it is required to confirm if the patient is suffering from this disorder. Treatment of this patients is not easy or one time treatment. Whether or not they are undergoing crises they need to take regular supplements and medicaments to maintain the hemoglobin levels of the blood.
Blood transfusion may be required on a regular basis.
They may be given plenty of fluids to drink.
Folic acid supplements are prescribed.
Pain killers are given to reduce the intensity of various pain that patient may suffer.
Antibiotics may also be prescribed to reduce or eliminate fear of developing various infectious diseases.
Many other complicated treatments may also be required depending on the damage disease has caused.
Doctor must be consulted for right treatment as requirement of treatment may differ case to case. If other organs are damaged, then would also need various necessary treatments.
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