What is Sickle Cell Anemia?

Sickle cell anemia can be described as an inherited form of red blood cell disorder. The red blood cells are abnormally crescent shaped. It is a chronic condition in which there is not enough healthy red blood cells capable of carrying adequate oxygen throughout your body.

ABOUT SICKLE CELL DISEASE

While normal red blood cells are round and flexible, in Sickle Cell Disease, the red blood cells are sticky and have an abnormal sickle shape and they could get stuck in small blood vessels, which could affect adequate flow of blood and oxygen across the body.

 

How do you inherit Sickle Cell Disease?

 

If each parent has either the Sickle Cell Trait or the Sickle Cell Disease, a child could inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes from each parent thereby getting the disease.

 

Symptoms

 

Sickle Cell Symptoms includes Anemia, Painful Episodes, Swelling of hands & feet, Frequent Infections and Heart Attacks, among others.

 

Complications

 

Chronic Pain, Stroke, Organ Damage, Acute Chest Syndrome, Gallstones, Leg Ulcers, Blindness among other health problems.


Is there a cure for Sickle Cell Disease?

 

Drugs like Hydroxyurea have been known to help reduce the chronic pain and hospital visits but the only known cure for Sickle Cell Disease is the Bone Marrow Transplant, which could be brutal to the body organs.

 

Check Your Genotype

 

Genotypes are genes which are passed from parents to children. It is very important that you check your genotype and know what genes you have in order to avoid future painful surprises. There are four genotypes namely AA AS SS and AC. SS and AC are the abnormal genotypes, in other words Sickle Cells with AC being the most uncommon.

 

A person with genotype AA would be combinable with any of the other genotypes without a risk of having an offspring with a Sickle Cell Disease but there is a risk of Sickle Cell Disease with every other combination as shown below:

 

    AA + AA = AA                     

    AA + AS = AA or AS           

    AS + AS = AS or AA or SS  

    AA + SS = AS

    AS + SS = AS or SS 

    SS + SS  = SS

    AA + AC = AA or AC

    AC + AC = AA or AC or SS

    AS + AC = AA or AS or AC or SS

    AC + SS = AS or SS