Sickle cell disease is a group of diseases that affect your red blood cell count. Lafayette sickle cell disease is inherited and can exhibit symptoms as early as six months after birth. Although it is an inherited condition, treatment options are available to improve your quality of life.
You can experience periodic episodes of pain, vision problems, and delayed puberty or growth if you have sickle cell disease. The following are also common symptoms.
- Anemia. Since the condition leads to the early death of your red blood cells, your body is left with a small number of red blood cells to transport oxygenated blood.
- Fatigue. You might feel extremely tired if your body and organs do not receive enough blood.
- Swollen hands and feet. Your hands and feet might well if the sickled cells get stuck in your veins and block blood flow in the small parts of your bones.
- Frequent infections. Sickle cell disease can damage your spleen, an important organ in fighting infections.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to visit your doctor for evaluation. Your healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options before administration. One of the primary goals of sickle cell treatment is to manage your pain and improve blood flow to avoid complications.
Your specialist might recommend medications to reduce periodic pain episodes and lower your risk of anemia. Common medications include pain-relieving medications, Hydroxyurea, and Voxelotor. Before you take any drugs, talk to your doctor about existing conditions or pregnancy to avoid further complications.
Vaccinations are significant when it comes to minimizing infections. Children between 2 months old and five years old can take penicillin to reduce the severity of diseases at that time. If you are an adult, your specialist might recommend you take penicillin as a life-long drug.
Blood transfusions help reduce your sickle cell symptoms and prevent complications. However, if you undergo regular blood transfusions, you might need medication to reduce your iron levels. During a blood transfusion process, your specialist will remove red blood cells from the donated blood and then give them to you through a vein.
Stem cell transplant
A stem cell transplant is usually used for children with the condition who suffer complications. The procedure involves replacing your bone marrow with donated bone marrow, usually from a sibling without the condition. The process is the only permanent cure for the disease.
Tips for managing the condition at home
You can include several actions to help you manage sickle cell disease better, even when you receive treatment. The following are useful tips to follow.
- Take supplements like folic acid for the growth of new blood cells
- Eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Stay hydrated to avoid the thickening of your blood, leading to poor circulation
- Get adequate exercise and sleep
- Use pain medications sparingly
If you have sickle cell disease, visit Moore Healthcare Group for treatment. Let qualified and experienced physicians evaluate your condition and offer suitable treatment. Call or book an appointment online.