Sickle Cell

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Sickle Cell Anemia is a hereditary disease that changes the smallest and most important components of the body. A gene causes the bone marrow in the body to make sickled shapes, when this happens; it causes the red blood cell to die faster. This is what causes Hemolytic Anemia. Older children and adults with sickle cell disease may experience a few complications, or have a pattern of ongoing problems that shorten their lives. The most common and serious complications of sickle cell disease are anemia, pain, fatigue, and organ failure. Today there are many alternatives and opportunities that a sickle cell patient may consider. One outlined in this paper is the Hydroxyurea method. Sickle cell anemia mostly affects people of African ancestry, but also occurs in other ethnic groups, including people who are of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern descent. More than 70,000 Americans have sickle cell anemia. And about 2 million Americans - and one in 12 African Americans - have sickle cell trait (this means they carry one gene for the disease, but do not have the disease itself). Sickle cell anemia occurs when a person inherits two abnormal genes (one from each parent) that cause their red blood cells to change shape. Instead of being flexible and round, these cells are more rigid and curved in the shape of the farm tool known as a sickle - that's where the disease gets its name. The shape is similar to a crescent moon. Sickle cell anemia is a blood disorder that affects hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Red blood cells with normal hemoglobin (HbA) move easily through the bloodstream, delivering oxygen to all of the cells of the body. Normal red blood cells are shaped like doughnuts with the centers partially scooped out and are soft and flexible. Sickle cell anemia occurs when an abnormal form of hemoglobin (HbS) is produced. HbS molecules tend to clump together, making red blood cells sticky, stiff, and more...
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