Sickle cell anemia is a genetically passed haemoglobin disorder of blood in which the RBCs make an irregular sickle (crescent) shape of cells. This makes them rigid and sticky, the asymmetrical cells lack plasticity and can block some blood vessels.
A person gets sickle cell when inherited two copies of genes from each parent. When a person inherited a single cell copy does not have the same symptoms and is said to have sickle cell trait.
Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia
some children have start problems early on and some later. Early symptoms includes
- Dactylitis (painful swelling of hands and feet)
- Jaundice (yellow coloration of skin)
- Acute pain
- Chronic pain
- Acute chest problems
- Brain complications
- Eye problems
- Heart diseases
- Kidney problems
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Joint complications
- Liver complications
- Mental health
Children are at a risk of getting sickle cell anemia as they are inherited by their parents that carry sickle cell traits. The highest rate of sickle cell anemia is found in tropical regions, Sub Saharan Africa, India and Middle East
Diagnosis of Sickle Cell Anemia
When a child is diagnosed with sickle cell anemia it is better to take some test to prevent the complications from happening. Some blood test are done by the doctors to find the blood level in the body and the shape of the cells and Hb electrophoresis is required to confirm the diagnosis, Hb electrophoresis calculate the different kinds of bloods. Some tests are done before birth by taking a sample of amniotic fluid.
Association of Stroke with Sickle Cell Anemia
Strokes are usually seen in older aged people but it occurs in the children diagnosed with sickle cell at the age of 5, as they inter relate with each other. Stroke take place due to the sickle shaped cells that blocks small blood vessels leading to the brain. Sickle cell disease is commonly the cause of childhood strokes. Mostly Ischemic Stroke occurs in children at the age of 15 and in adult at the age of 30.
Treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell can be treated at a large extend by preventive antibiotics, vaccination, high fluid intake, folic acid supplementation and pain medication. Other severe measures may be treated by transplant of bone marrow, blood transfusion and medication hydroxycarbamide.
- to get relief from pain use heating pads
- Drink more water to decrease the chance of getting sickle cell anemia
- Exercise regularly and reduce stress
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole-wheat grains can help you in making more RBCs.