When you hear about sickle cell anemia, it’s about its inherited form or a medical condition when there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Normally, red blood cells are round and flexible so that they move easily through blood vessels. In those patients who are diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, they become sticky and rigid. Abnormal cells get stuck in smaller blood vessels, thus blocking or slowing down the blood flow and oxygen to bodily parts.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for most of those patients who have this disease, but they can try a range of effective treatments that help them relieve pain and avoid further health issues. Sickle cell anemia is characterized by certain symptoms that may not appear at once. First, it’s about anemia because sickle blood cells are quite fragile and they can break apart with ease, thus leaving people without a proper supply of red blood cells. The worst part is that their bodies don’t get enough oxygen to be energized and function properly so that patients tend to feel tired.
This disease is also characterized by the episodes of pain or crises. Remember that pain develops when improper red blood cells block the right blood flow in different body parts, but pain may affect bones too, and its intensity varies. For example, some patients have several pain episodes, while others suffer from many crises. Hand-foot syndrome is another symptom of sickle cell anemia, and this is when you have swollen feet and hands.
Regular infections also indicate this ailment, and that’s because sickle blood cells may damage the spleen, an important organ that fights all infections, and this is what makes people more vulnerable to them. Delayed growth is also a clear sign that indicates sickle cell anemia because red blood cells provide the body with enough nutrients and oxygen to grow. Their shortage resulted in slowing down the growth and delayed puberty. Besides, patients may have certain vision issues because tiny blood vessels that supply their eyes may become plugged.
Sickle cell anemia is often diagnosed in infants so that if children develop any of the above-mentioned symptoms, their parents need to visit a doctor. Finally, there are different causes of this disease, and the main one is the mutation in those genes that tell the body to produce hemoglobin, a compound that provides the blood with its red color.
When you hear about sickle cell anemia, it’s about its inherited form or a medical condition when there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. Normally, red blood cells are round and flexible so that they move easily through blood vessels. In those patients who are diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, they become sticky and rigid.