What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell is a form of anemia that is inherited. It is characterized by oddly shaped red blood cells. Normally, red blood cells are circular in shape and very flexible. Sickle cells are sickle, or crescent, shaped and are very rigid. They deconstruct at a rapid rate, making the amount of blood cells decrease. Also, they do not flow freely through the blood vessels which can cause many different problems as well.

There is one known sickle cell anemia cause. It is a gene mutation. The gene that is affected by the mutation is the one that tells your body how to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the iron-rich substance found in red blood cells that is responsible for oxygen transportation to the body’s organs and tissues. People that have sickle cell have two different hemoglobin genes. They are referred to as hemoglobin a and hemoglobin s. The hemoglobin a produces normal hemoglobin that is contained in healthy red blood cells. The hemoglobin s is defective and found in the sickle cells. If there is more sickle cells then healthy cells, there will be more symptoms. Also, some people may carry the sickle cells and hemoglobin s, but have no symptoms at all.

Sickle cell anemia causes a few symptoms that no other type of anemia has. Sickle cell anemia causes swollen hands and feet. This is due to the poor blood flow. When the sickle cells form a blockage in the blood vessel, the blood cannot flow properly throughout the body. The swelling will then form. Also, sickle cell anemia causes pain in the joints and bones. This is due to the blockage as well. In severe cases, sickle cell anemia causes liver damage. The liver is responsible for getting rid of the harmful substances in the blood. When the sickle cells are deconstructing at a rapid rate, the liver will be working overtime to get rid of them, therefore, problems could arise.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for sickle cell anemia. It is an inherited form that effects the genes so there is no way to cure it. There is however, some different treatment options to help control the symptoms. Speak with your doctor about possible treatment options to get your sickle cell under control.

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