Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited blood disorder, identified by the sickle shape of red blood cells which carry less oxygen and break easily, causing anemia. The sickling trait, the less serious form, occurs from the inheritance of only one parent; however, both parents must exhibit the disease in order for full symptoms to take place. It is caused by an error in the gene that tells the body how to make hemoglobin. The disorder is usually found in people of African descent because the gene mutation that occurred thousands of years ago in parts of Africa. A simple blood test can be performed to detect whether or not there’s sickle hemoglobin. That’s why babies are required to be tested upon entering into the world. Some symptoms of sickle cell involve fatigue, paleness, and shortness of breath due to anemia of the red blood cells. Unpredictable pain throughout the body due to blockage by sickled shape red blood cells, loss of sight, jaundice of the skin and eyes, delayed growth and puberty, and increase risk of stroke from increased blood clots of sickle shaped red blood cells are other factors that may occur as a result of the disease. Although there is no available cure for sickle cell, certain treatments can help alleviate some of the pain. Bone marrow transplants or blood transfusions may help some individuals as research is still being done for other methods of treatment. Other methods to relieve mild pain may be over the counter pain medicines, rest, and plenty of fluids. Hydroxyurea is a prescription drug used to treat sickle cell anemia by aiding in the production of fetal hemoglobin, which helps the red blood cells from sickling. Since sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease, if a person is born with it he/she may only take steps on reducing its complications. Some ways to ease the process are to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Follow a diet that consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low in...
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