THE HEALTH COMPLICATIONS OF SICKLE CELL DISEASE
Ideally I should have had my sister guest post on this topic because she has experienced a few of these complications herself like the leg ulcers, gallstones and has even suffered a stroke. I would have her share what going through these health challenges have been like in a continuation post but for the first part of this topic, I will simply highlight the various complications that Sickle Cell Disease causes. My brother suffered through a few of these also so I guess it's safe to say that at some point in their adult life, sickle cell sufferers will experience one or more of these health issues.
The complications of this disease can certainly be life threatening if not promptly treated and I know that was the case for my sister because compared to my brother, she has suffered through more of the severe health scares associated with her condition. She currently has to undergo regular blood transfusions to guard against suffering through any more complications and was also on Hydroxyurea treatment at a point to help manage her crises and pain. The complications from SCD include but are not limited to: gallstones, leg ulcers, eye damage, stroke, acute chest syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, priapism just to mention a few. Any and all major organs are affected by SCD ( the liver, heart, kidneys, gall bladder, bones, joints and eyes) and in many cases, these complications may resemble other blood disorders so it is important to consult your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment.
The specific treatments for these complications will be determined by your doctor and will be based on factors like: age, medical history, extent of the disease etc. Needless to say therefore that early diagnosis and prevention of complications is critical in SCD treatment. Treatment options may include:
- Pain meds
- Daily fluid intake
- Blood transfusions
- Folic Acid
- Bone Marrow Transplant
Life expectancy has increased over the past couple of years and people with the disease are now living into their 40s and beyond. Advances in preventive care and medication have reduced the life threatening complications of sickle cell but it is still a chronic, severe and sometimes fatal disease. You can imagine the fear and anxiety of a parent who has had to live through the loss of one child from this disease yet still trying to care for a 2nd child living with it and praying for a different outcome. It is a scary thought but with God and all the medical advancements in modern medicine, we all remain hopeful.
You can always surf the web to find more details and facts about everything I talk about regarding Sickle Cell Anaemia to remain well informed on the disease.
Thank you for visiting te blog today and can't wait to chat with you about another 30 something and still figuring it out issue..