People with sickle cell disease may also have ongoing anemia or a low red blood cell count in the body. Because this can cause damage over time, it is important for patients to understand their specific type of sickle cell so they can enjoy this festive season and their lives in general.
The different types of sickle cell disease come with different symptoms and complications that vary in severity. Having a clear understanding of what type of sickle cell variation you have will allow for the appropriate treatment options to be carried out and precautions to be taken.
Related: The 4 Common Types Of Sickle Cell Disease
SS - Patients with this type of sickle cell should understand their symptoms are the worst and therefore complications are the most severe. This patient can not afford to be stressed, dehydrated or exposed to extreme temperatures at any time. It is therefore not adviseable to participate in any activities over the festive period that could trigger crises.
SC - This patient has similar symptoms with the SS patient but anemia is not as severe. Minimal activity may be tolerated but staying hydrated remains essential to replenish any lost fluids without risking complications
SB+ (beta) thalassemia - The patient who has this type of sickle cell does not experience severe symptoms so he/she can get away with doing more over the holidays than other sickle cell patients.
SB() (beta-zero) thalassemia - Even though this patient has similar symptoms to SS patients, their symptoms are sometimes more severe and associated with a poorer prognosis. For this patient, because their condition has the associated risk of an unfavorable outcome, all stressful activities and situations should be avoided at all costs especially during the festive season.
SD, SE, SO - These sickle cell patients do not suffer any severe symptoms and can enjoy more holiday activities without the fear of developing serious complications later.
Activities like skiing, snow-boarding, ice skating and running are some things people like to do over the holidays and it can be disappointing not being able to participate in the fun with sickle cell but you don't have to feel left out. As long as you understand your type of sickle cell and the precautions you need to take, then you can certainly enjoy these or any other festive season's activities like everyone else.
Always Love 💕