Sickle Cell Anemia Symptoms: What you should look for?
Sickle cell anemia symptoms usually involve severe pain that is unbearable and has to be countered with analgesics. The disease is called so because the blood cells here turn from round to sickle shaped and this impedes blood flow and can cause the liver to clog up and hinders the body’s ability to fight infections.
Sickle cell anemia symptoms, if they show up, need expert medical attention as this is a form of Thalassemia. The sickle cell anemia usually shows up in people of African origin including African Americans as these people are prone to the condition. It is a very common blood disorder and is hereditary in nature. The disease affects the red blood cells and is called ‘sickle cell’ for a reason. The red blood cells in the human body are usually round, disc shaped, but when this disease affects the body, they become crescent shaped or ‘sickle shaped’, hence the name.
Sickle Cell Anemia Symptoms: Outside The Body
Symptoms of Sickle Cell also manifest themselves outside the body at a macro level. But the effects of the disease are that the blood does not carry oxygen like it is supposed to. It affects the effectiveness of the blood when it comes to carrying oxygen. And overall, blood flow is also affected as these sickle cells don’t flow through the bloodstream as easily as the normal cells do. Also, these cells carry an abnormal form of hemoglobin known as hemoglobin S. And a person who has this disease is also prone to infections because these sickle cells can clog up the spleen. Also, these sickle cells die out after 10-20 days.
Diagnosis of the disease involves a CBC blood test where all the constituents of blood are examined. Symptoms of Sickle cell anemia include pain attacks that can occur sporadically anywhere in the body – hands, back, legs, chest, joints, etc. The spleen gets clogged and the spleen or liver can grow to an abnormally large size and its ability to protect the body from infections is compromised. The pain is severe and often times unbearable. Pain, when it occurs should immediately be countered with an off-the shelf painkiller. Another remedy for quick relief is to ingest a lot of fluids orally or to have fluids injected that will help the blood flow and this will ease the pain to a great extent.
If sickle cell anemia symptoms show up, they require medical attention. There is no proper cure for this disease but there are ways to counter the symptoms. Patients suffering from this disease need plenty of oxygen and need to take in iron rich foods and this reduce the severity of the pain. And in some cases, a blood transfusion will be required. Meanwhile, research to find a proper cure continues.