With sickle cell disease, a person's red blood cells can become hard, sticky, and sickle shaped. The blood cells look curved or have a rounded bend or crescent shape.
Which lab tests are performed in with the workup of sickle cell disease (SCD)?
In a healthy person, red blood cells have a round, donut shape. It affects males and females equally.
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Sickle cell disease is inherited. That means it is passed from mothers and fathers to their children when both parents have the disease or trait. It is not contagious meaning it is not spread by touching or being close to someone who has this condition. People of many ethnic groups can have sickle cell disease. It is most common in persons of African descent, but it is also found in persons whose ancestors come from Asia, India, Indigenous America, Latin America, Mediterranean, and Middle East regions.
All Texas newborns are screened for sickle cell disease as well as more than 50 other conditions. People with sickle cell disease have periods of well-being and stages of illness.
What causes sickle cell disease?
The periods of illness are called sickle cell crises. Sickle cell disease can cause serious health complications that can include pneumonia, organ damage, swelling of hands and feet, chest pains and trouble breathing, blood in urine, fever, stroke, leg ulcers, infections, jaundice, gallstones, anemia, as well as painful erections in men and complications during pregnancy. Early treatment is essential. Some treatments are still being researched.
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Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder. It is marked by flawed hemoglobin. So, sickle cell disease interferes with the delivery of oxygen to the tissues. They can move through the blood vessels easily.
Cells with sickle cell hemoglobin are stiff and sticky. This can block small blood vessels and the movement of healthy, normal oxygen-carrying blood. The blockage can cause pain. But, sickle cells only live for about 10 to 20 days. Also, sickle cells may be destroyed by the spleen because of their shape and stiffness.
The spleen helps filter the blood of infections. Sickled cells get stuck in this filter and die. The sickled cells also damage the spleen. This puts you are at greater at risk for infections. The following is a list of symptoms and complications associated with sickle cell disease.vykequmugu.gq
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However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms and complications may include:. The symptoms of sickle cell disease may look like other blood disorders or medical problems. Many states routinely screen newborns for sickle cell so that treatment can begin as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of complications. Hemoglobin electrophoresis is a blood test that can determine if a person is a carrier of sickle cell, or has any of the diseases associated with the sickle cell gene.
Your doctor will consider your age, overall health and other factors when determining the best treatment for you. Early diagnosis and prevention of complications is critical in sickle cell disease treatment. Treatment aims to prevent organ damage including strokes, prevent infection, and treat symptoms.
Treatment may include:. Any and all major organs are affected by sickle cell disease. The liver, heart, kidneys, gallbladder, eyes, bones, and joints can suffer damage from the abnormal function of the sickle cells and their inability to flow through the small blood vessels correctly. Problems may include the following:. Sickle cell disease is a life-long condition.
Although the complications of sickle cell disease may not be able to be prevented entirely, living a healthy life-style can reduce some of the complications. It is important to eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, and drink lots of fluids.
Do not take decongestants because they cause constriction of blood vessels and could trigger a crisis. Other factors that may trigger a crisis include high altitudes, cold weather, swimming in cold water, and heavy physical labor.
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Avoid infections by getting an annual flu shot, washing your hands frequently, avoiding those who are sick, and getting regular dental exams. Health Home Conditions and Diseases. What causes sickle cell disease?
Who It Affects
Sickle cell is an inherited disease caused by a defect in a gene. A person will be born with sickle cell disease only if two genes are inherited—one from the mother and one from the father. A person who inherits just one gene is healthy and said to be a "carrier" of the disease. A carrier has an increased chance of having a child with sickle cell disease if he or she has a child with another carrier.
What are the risk factors for sickle cell disease? Having a family history of sickle cell disease increases your risk for the disease. In the United States, it mainly affects African Americans. What are the symptoms of sickle cell disease? Symptoms and complications may include: Anemia. Because sickled cells are short-lived or destroyed, there are less red blood cells available in the body.
This results in anemia. Severe anemia can make you feel dizzy, short of breath, and tired.
Pain crisis, or sickle crisis. This occurs when the flow of blood is blocked to an area because the sickled cells have become stuck in the blood vessel. The pain can occur anywhere, but most often occurs in the chest, arms, and legs. Infants and young children may have painful swelling of the fingers and toes.