THE 4 COMMON TYPES OF SICKLE CELL DISEASE
I may have blogged about this before, I honestly do not remember but if I didn't, it would probably have been because there are/were so many medical terms/terminology I didn't understand and could not interprete and so I gave up.
When I blog about sickle cell issues, my goal is to simplify it as much as I possibly can so you can understand it without all of those ridiculously complicated medical jargon that do nothing but confuse. Doing this hasn't been easy as you would imagine because I have to read things over and over before figuring out how to relay the information here in a simple and easy way. Be that as it may, I have committed myself to talking about sickle cell from a personal, relatable point and that is what I hope to keep on doing. Differences in sickle cell cases are as varied as being a man and woman which is why I have often said that no two sickle cell cases are exactly the same.
There are four common types of SCD and they are as follows:
1. HbSS - These are patients who have inherited two sickle genes "S", one from each parent and is commonly called Sickle Cell Anemia. It is the most severe form of the disease.
2. HbSC - This form of SCD is where one sickle gene, "S" is inherited from one parent and from the other parent, a gene for an abnormal hemoglobin called "C". It is a milder form of sickle cell disease.
3. HbS beta thalassemia - People with this form of SCD inherit one sickle gene, "S" from one parent and one gene for beta thalassemia, which is another type of anemia from the other parent. There are 2 types of beta thalassemia, "O" and "+" with the former having a more severe form of SCD while the latter has a milder form of the disease.
4. HbSD, HbSE, HbSO - These are a few of the rare types of SCD and is one where people inherit one sickle gene, "S" from one parent and one gene from an abnormal type of hemoglobin, "D", "E" or "O" with the severity of these rarer types varying in their levels.
Because of the varying degrees in severity of these types of SCD, the symptoms may also vary in severity but are in large part the same. Some of those symptoms which we have discussed here before are:
a. pain in the chest, back, arms or legs
b. frequent infections
d. swelling and pain in hands and feet
e. excessive fatigue or irritability from anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia is severe because the sickle cells are easily broken (this breaking apart is called chronic hemolysis) and live for a maximum of 10-20 days. Both my siblings suffer from the HbSS type of sickle cell, the most severe form and have suffered through most, if not all of its complications.
I hope this broke things down a lot more easily for you guys and as always, a little bit of online research will reveal what each SC type entails in terms of complications and management options.