What You Should Know About Sickle Cell Anemia

Blood draw

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Written by Jannah Smith

Sickle cell anemia is a disease of the blood specifically in red blood cells. It is an inherited disease that can pass through generations. The red blood cells are shaped like a C. This occurs during mutation. The life of a person having sickle cell anemia is shortened. Studies show the average life span of a person having this disease is about 42 to 48 years.

Our normal red blood cells are disc-shaped. The red blood cells pass through our blood vessels. It contains protein hemoglobin. This is an iron rich protein that gives the blood a red color. Its main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of the body. In sickle cells, the abnormal hemoglobin causes the cells to have a C shape or crescent shape. These cells can\’t pass through easily in the blood vessels and because of this they usually get stuck in the blood vessels.

Common symptoms of this disease includes: abdominal pain, pain in the bones, delayed growth, fatigue, fever, paleness, increase heart rate, jaundice and ulcers on the lower extremities. Other people with sickle cell anemia can experience: chest pain, excessive thirst, frequent urination, painful and prolonged erection in men, poor eye sight or even blindness, skin ulcers and stoke.

Diagnosis of this disease would include the following laboratory exams and test: complete blood count, hemoglobin electrophoresis and sickle cell test. Patients having this disease should undergo an ongoing treatment. Folic acid supplements are recommended because they are needed for producing red blood cells. During painful episodes, they are treated with pain medications. They are also advised to increase fluid intake. Antibiotics and vaccines are given to patients to prevent bacterial infections. Blood transfusion is also recommended. Sickle cell anemia can lead to many complications, to name some: stroke occurs from the narrowing of the blood vessels. Gallbladder stones could also develop because of excessive bilirubin. Tolerance of opiod will also developed because of therapeutic use and later on the patient will have a chronic renal failure.

Sickle cell anemia is a kind of anemia. In anemia our blood has a lower normal number of red blood cells. It occurs when the red blood cells don\’t have enough hemoglobin. The normal red blood cell last about 120 days while sickle cell about 10-20 days. That is one reason why patients having sickle cell have a shorter life span. Sickle cell anemia is a life long disease and can be inherited from offspring.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/diseases-and-conditions-articles/what-you-should-know-about-sickle-cell-anemia-2372831.html

 

Add Your Comment

*