Sickle Cell Anaemia
Sickle cell anaemia is a result of abnormalities in the blood structure in certain people. The disease is inherited and is quite common in African countries. Sickle cell anaemia can only develop if a person inherits two sickle cell genes. If the person only one gene present then he has another form of sickle cell disease and it is known as sickle cell trait, and they will not suffer from the full blown disease. Because this disease can affect different parts of the body it can often have fatal consequences. Sufferers of sickle cell anaemia often have episodes known as "crises" when these episodes occur certain organs are deprived of oxygen for a period of time. The frequency of these ‘crises’ varies and if it occurs often enough, organ damage can be the result. Symptoms of sickle cell anaemia include:
Jaundice, fatigue and rapid heartbeat
Pain in the abdomen, join pain and pain along the legs and arms
A painful persistent erection
Delayed growth and development
Sickle cell anaemia is genetic and it is very important that it is diagnosed and treated early. A blood test can be given to identify people that may have the trait or the disease and it is often wise for couples to be tested before deciding on having children.
You can maintain a good, healthy diet, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Avoid any infections by teaching your child good dental hygiene and by taking him for regular check-ups at the doctor and making sure he gets all his vaccinations.
When to seek further professional advice
If painful episodes last for more than 7 hours. If your infant's hands or feet swell and the baby shows signs of anaemia or if your affected child’s abdomen is rigid and swollen.
This disease should be treated by a conventional doctor, however you can ask him of other beneficial alternative treatments that can be used to help with relieving the symptoms.
There is no cure for this disease at the moment, however people suffering from it can learn to control the symptoms. If your child is suffering from sickle cell anaemia is is very important that you guard him from infections as they can lead to dangerous complications. Your child should be immunized as normal and in addition receive vaccines for influenza and pneumococcus. Your doctor will be able to tell you of other preventative steps that can be taken to help your child.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.