Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited illness characterized by the lack of a protein known as hemoglobin. It is an inherited disorder, meaning that if one parent has it, you are likely to also develop it. If someone in your family has it, there is a good chance that you will also.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disorder that affects many of us. There are several different types of treatment for this illness, but they all have the same result in mind – prevention.
Sickle Cell Anemia is characterized by the lack of a protein called hemoglobin
Because of this lack of hemoglobin, oxygen can’t travel through the blood vessels carrying oxygen to all areas of the body. Symptoms of sickle cell anemia include
- Pale complexion
- Paleness oftentimes found on the fingers, toes, and knees
- Other symptoms include a fast, pounding heartbeat and increased sweating.
Having this illness is not just a diagnosis. There is no cure for sickle cell disease. However, there are several treatments for symptoms and preventing organ damage.
One of the most important aspects of preventing organ damage is having an early diagnosis. Having sickle cell anemia diagnosed early is a crucial part of prevention.
The most common way to diagnose sickle cell anemia is with a blood test known as the sickle cell function test. This test is performed by placing a needle into your arm and drawing blood to the monitor.
A red blood cell is then detected. A positive result means that you have this disease, and a negative result means that you do not have it. If the red blood cells turn red, this is an indication that the gene has been inherited.
The symptom of sickle cell anemia is pale skin with little to no muscle tone in the affected areas
Typically, this affects both palms and soles, but it can appear in one or both feet. Because the disease occurs in the bone, muscle tone will slowly decrease leading to a loss of joint movement, dexterity, and sensation in those affected areas.
If left untreated, this can lead to serious health problems including weak bones and a condition called Hand-foot Syndrome. Signs of sickle cell anemia may include a number of other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and a need to urinate frequently. These signs can occur at any time, even during sleep.
When a person has anemia, blood may not clot properly and therefore blood flow to some parts of the body is impaired. This can cause swollen legs, feet, and ankles, weakness in muscles, and shortness of breath. Shortness of breath often interferes with getting the person to pee, which can then result in severe dehydration.
People who suffer from sickle cell anemia are also at high risk for developing complications such as leg ulcers
Leg ulcers are caused by damage to the blood vessels in the legs, which are triggered by extreme pain. In sickle cell anemia, blood does not clot properly, so blood flows through the legs with the aid of tissue paper.
As a result, some parts of the leg become irritated and swell, which can make leg ulcers more severe and dangerous. There is no cure for sickle cell anemia, but treatment can reduce the symptoms and help keep the illness from worsening.
Anemia is genetic and is passed down in families. Therefore, if members of your family have the disease, you are at increased risk for it yourself. Treatment for the condition includes regular blood transfusions, which should be scheduled for weeks or months after developing symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment options are effective and can help you prevent serious complications.
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