Sickle Cell Anemia Effect

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Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited blood disorder that mostly affects people of African ancestry, but it can also occur in other ethnic groups such as Middle East and Mediterranean descent (National Institute of Health). The disease affects the hemoglobin molecule in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin helps with carrying oxygen from the lungs and delivering it to different parts of the body. The mutation of this disease makes the cells become abnormal and irregular shaped. As a result, the abnormal crescent shape can block the blood flow in parts of the body which causes pain and organ damage (National Institute of Health). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that Sickle Cell Anemia affects 90,000 to 100,000 …show more content…
The most common symptom related to anemia is feeling very tired and weak. Other signs and symptoms of anemia include jaundice, shortness of breath, leg ulcers, coldness in the hands and feet, and headaches (Makani, Ofori-Acquah, Nnodu, Wonkam, Ohene, 2013). Another common side effect to having this disease is having sudden bursts of pain throughout the body. This pain is known as sickle cell crisis, and the crisis affects the body’s joints, lungs, abdomen, and bones. Sickle cell crisis can be categorized into acute and chronic crisis. Acute Sickle Cell crisis is when the pain is short and can last for hours or a week. Chronic Sickle Cell Anemia is when a patient can have pain for months and the chronic pain usually it felt from their bones. Acute and Chronic crisis occur in patients with this disease because the red blood cells that are irregular shaped, “sickled” and crescent shape block the blood flow to the limbs and the organs (National Institute of Health). This is why people experience pain with this …show more content…
The Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Disease states “heterozygotes for the sickle gene are relatively protected against the danger of dying of malaria, as now firmly established through a number of clinical field studies from different parts of Africa” (Luzzatto, 2012). This means that patients with the defective hemoglobin that causes Sickle Cell Anemia are protected from Malaria. There are two reasons why the sickle cells help protect against the malaria disease. One reason is since the sickle cells have a short life span, the parasites are unable to survive. The second reason is that the sickled red blood cells do not contain enough nutrients for the parasite to survive the parasite usually

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