Genetics

Sickle Cell Anemia

What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle Cell Anemia is a disorder affecting your red blood cells. The cells go into a crescent or pointed shape from the abnormal hemoglobin levels. Hemoglobin is a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood vertebrates.

What the cells look like

1. Normal blood cells

* Normal blood cells are round like a doughnut. They carry oxygen to you organs. Normal blood cells flow easily through your body.


2. Sickle blood cells

* Sickle blood cells are a pointed or crescent shape. Sickle cells don't carry much oxygen, so your organs are suffering, because they don't have the right amount of oxygen. Since the sickle cells are an abnormal shape they don't go through your body very well. Often times they create blood clots.



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Symptoms

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Blood clots
  • Organ damage
  • Not enough oxygen in your organs
  • Kidney failure

Treatment

There is no official cure for Sickle Cell Anemia, but one way that works only sometimes, and not even fully is a bone marrow transplant. If you don't have a matched donor, you will be given a powerful antibiotic call Penicillin. People who have serious pain may get regular transfusions of red blood cells. Also if you have a really low oxygen levels you can get oxygen therapy.
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Life with Sickle Cell Anemia

The way you live your life is dependent of the severity of the disease. You won't be told what you can and can't do, it just depends on how you feel doing activities. Do to the new technology most people with Sickle Cell Anemia live to their 50's or 60's. For some people the disease may effect them so much that may be in, and out of the ER constantly or the disease may not a effect you as much, so you may just have to go in for check ups.

Inheritance Chart