Sickle Cell Disease – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Sickle Cell Disease – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Sickle cell disease is a type of blood related disorder where red blood cells are affected. As we all know, hemoglobin is the key substance in the red blood cells which carries oxygen to lungs and other different parts of the human body. A regular and perfect red blood cell contains hemoglobin A. It’s the abnormal case where the red blood cells contain hemoglobin S or C which is a different type of hemoglobin substance in blood cells. In this medical condition, often the red blood cells are forced to squeeze into the shape of a sickle.

This makes the passage of red blood cells so difficult through blood vessels, especially smaller ones. These cells generally block thin blood vessels and minimize the blood flow to some body parts thus damaging them gradually. This Sickle cell disease is a life long disease and at present there are no effective treatments to cure it completely.


The disease is purely an inherited disease. It means, a person who got it would have inherited the defective gene from his parents. In general the hemoglobin gene inherits two copies from both the parents in humans. In sickle cell disease, When a person inherits two defective genes both from his parents, there are more chances that he can develop a sick gene thus inheriting disease from parents.

In a condition where the child inherits only one defective gene from one parent and healthy from other, the risk of getting sickle cell disease is very low. But in this condition, the new born baby can be called as a ‘sickle cell trait’ which means he carries a sick gene and can transfer this to his children in future.


The major symptoms are constant pain in feet, hands, back and many other body parts. Anemia is common among sickle cell disease patients. Inactiveness and fatigue along with the above mentioned symptoms are most likely caused due to sickle cell disease. Skin becomes pale and possesses yellowish look. The pain with suction feeling on different parts of body mostly on hands and feet puts into a big risk of being affected by sickle cell disease. Generally, these pains continuously prolong for hours and hours and carry a high intensity during nights.

Available Treatments

That disease doesn’t get cured in a day or couple of weeks. It’s a life long process where you need to maintain yourself to minimize the symptoms of sickle cell disease thus increasing scope to lead a normal life. Coming to the issue, controlling pains in the body is the key point. A prescribed pain killer medicine schedule will minimize the regular pains. Frequent blood transfusions can easily be the best treatment method available for sickle cell disease patients.

What this makes is, it reduces the risk of strokes and also minimizes the disease effects. Newly accumulated blood can prolong the lifespan of patient for some more time, but continuous blood transfusions might result in the increase of toxic substances in the blood.

To Your Health!


About The Author
Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women’s Center in March 1996. Womens Health Center, physical examinations, family planning and counseling.
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