Symptoms Of Sickle Cell Disease

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Sickle Cell Disease (Anemia) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by a mutation in hemoglobin. Rather than the common disc shape of red blood cells, this disease causes the cells to form in a crescent shape, leaving them fragile and apt to break or clot in small blood vessels, thereby slowing or blocking blood flow. This prevents oxygen from circulating the body properly. As with all autosomal recessive genes, both parents must be carriers in order for their offspring to get the disease. While “many people erroneously think that it is limited to African-Americans,” it is also common amongst people whose ancestors came from South America, Cuba, Central America, Saudi Arabia, India, and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and …show more content…
These symptoms include anemia, which is the shortage of red blood cells in the circulatory system. This results in the body not getting sufficient oxygen, which often causes fatigue. Another symptoms of sickle cell anemia is pain in the chest, abdomen, and joints. The pain sometimes lasts a few hours, but may last a few weeks. Each episode of pain is called a crisis, and if a crisis is extremely severe, hospitalization may be required. This pain is a result of hypoxia. Hypoxic tissues can cause pain because the lack of oxygen and shortness of breath causes the body to change from aerobic to anaerobic respiration, resulting in the production of lactic acid as a waste product. When lactic acid is produced, it causes pain in the tissue. This also leads to shortness of …show more content…
While bone marrow transplants can arrest the disease, suitable donors are hard to find. In addition, bone marrow transplants present significant risks including a 10 percent mortality rate. Given the high mortality rate, physicians shy away from bone marrow transplants, preferring that treatment for sickle cell anemia to be focused on avoiding crises, relieving symptoms, and preventing complications. Similarly, the administration of Hydroxyurea causes an increased risk of infection. Long-term use of Hydroxyurea has also been shown to induce tumors and leukemia in several

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