Anemia is the most common blood disorder in the world. There are many different types of anemia. Some are inherited, others develop later on in life. One common inherited form of anemia is sickle anemia.
Sickle anemia is caused when the red blood cells are oddly shaped. The sickle, or crescent, shape causes the red blood cells to deconstruct at a rapid rate. The body will not be able to produce enough healthy red blood cells to take the place of the ones that have died so there will be an insufficient amount. Red blood cells produce hemoglobin, an iron-rich substance that transports oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. If there isn’t enough red blood cells, then there isn’t enough hemoglobin. Therefore, the organs and tissues will not receive an efficient amount of oxygen to function properly. This could cause the anemia symptoms to form. These symptoms could include fatigue, weakness and decreased energy.
Sickle anemia also causes other problems. Due to the odd shape, the red blood cells will not be able to flow correctly through the blood vessels. This will make the blood unable to flow freely as well. The deconstructing red blood cells will cause a blockage in the blood vessel and cause the blood to back-up. When this occurs, you may experience swollen hands or feet. Also, pain in the joints and bones are also commonly experienced. Sickle anemia could also cause liver damage. The liver is responsible for ridding the blood of any harmful substances. The deconstructing cells are considered harmful. When there is a large amount of them, the liver will be working overtime and could lead to damage.
Sickle anemia is essentially and untreatable disease. The only known treatment is a bone marrow transplant, but doctors will only perform this in severe cases due to the severity of the procedure. There are some ways to treat the symptoms that may form due to sickle anemia. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to sickle anemia patients. Since they are prone to infection, the antibiotics will help fight them off and keep the body healthy. Pain medicine is also prescribed to help keep the pain to a minimum. Supplementing the oxygen in the body is also a common form of treatment. Using and oxygen mask is an effective way to do this.
Sickle anemia can become a very serious condition if it is not controlled. However, if the right precautions are taken, it can be very easy to live with. If you notice any symptoms, speak with a doctor about possible treatment options.
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