Sickle cell anemia is an abnormality of Red Blood Cells (RBCs). It is also known as sickle cell disease (SCD) and it is genetic. Normally the shape of RBCs are disc-like which make it flexible to travel within the smallest blood vessels. The disease is known as sickle cell anemia because of the fact that the shape of abnormal red blood cells resemble a sickle. The condition also include inflammation, pain as well as damaging of the tissues.
Below we have discussed all types of SCD with a brief description:
The symptoms of sickle cell anemia are usually seen in a patient who are above 6 months of their age. There are many symptoms which include:
Infants and younger children present with fever, abdominal pain, pneumococcal bacterial infections, dactylitis, splenic infarcts. Influenced newborn children don't present with manifestations for the initial months as the fetal hemoglobin keeps the red platelets from sickling. Fetal hemoglobin is missing in red platelets delivered after birth. Hence, by approximately 5 months of age, sickling of red cells and relevant symptoms start.
Adolescents and young adults more commonly present with leg ulcers, aseptic necrosis, and eye damage. Adults typically present with intermittent pain episodes due to bone injury, muscle or internal organ injuries.
Sickle cell anemia is a disorder of the red blood cells. It results when any kind of change or mutation takes place in hemoglobin chains in red blood cells (the beta hemoglobin chains). Normally RBCs are disc shaped cells transfer to every blood vessel including the smaller ones to supply oxygen in the entire body. The one who is suffering from sickle cell anemia has RBCs which are stiff and sickle in shape.
Due to their sickle shape they are unable to move in small vessels of our body which causes pain or swelling and sometimes damage of the organ. It is to be mentioned that a lifespan of a healthy RBC is about 120 days but the RBCs of sickle cell anemic patient only live for 10 to 20 days. This results in the deficiency of RBC known as anemia.
A blood test can detect hemoglobin S-the abnormal hemoglobin in sickle cell anemia. You may likewise allude to a hereditary instructor. In children, a blood sample is taken from a finger or heels. The sample is screened for hemoglobin. In case, the screening is negative, no sickle cell gene is available however if the test positive, further tests are required to decide if a couple of sickle cell genes are available.
If sickle cell genes are detected, you may be tested for anemia. Further tests may be performed to check for complications of the disease. You may also be referred to a genetics specialist.
Sickle cell disease may also be diagnosed in a fetus by sampling the amniotic fluid for sickle cell genes. When either parent or both are diagnosed with the disease, it may be worth to undergo this screening. Also, referral to a genetic counselor is necessary to understand how to deal with the scenario.
Your doctor will provide you some medications which will help you in relieving the pain. If the condition is a bit serious, your medical practitioner will supply oxygen in your body through mask which will make breathing easier and will improve oxygen level in the blood. In some cases, the patient is hospitalized to provide a proper treatment.
Sickle Cell Anemia or SCD is an autosomal recessive disease and it can be inherited from both parents. In other words if a patient receives only one copy of defective HBB genes from his mother or father then he will not have sickle cell anemia and sickle cell trait. A child can suffer from Sickle anemia if:
On an average span of a person live with sickle cell anemia is about 42-47 years.
Yes, SCD or Sickle Cell Disease can be cured. Your doctor will need to diagnose you and then after he will provide you the treatment. The treatment may include medications, bone marrow transplant, gene therapy.
Sickle cell anemia may cause a variety of complications like :
The cost may vary from 25,000 INR to 40,000 INR depending on the hospital. It may also depend on the severity of the patient’s condition. This amount includes the charges of tests, doctor’s fee, medications etc.
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disorder and thus home remedies can only be supportive care. These should be employed as supportive care treatment rather than the alternative treatment option. Some of the home remedies for the treatment of sickle cell anemia are as follows :