September is National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
National Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
What is Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder. It affects red blood cells which carries Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Sickle cells only live for 60 days whereas normal red blood cells live for 120. People with sickle cell disease cannot produce red blood cells as fast, so these individuals have fewer red blood cells and have anemia. This disease can be very painful.
Who does Sickle Cell Disease affect?
Sickle cell disease can affect many different races, but most people with this disease are African American. One out of every 500 African American is born with this disease.
How can You stay Health and reduce my Pain?
- Get regular check-ups
- Get support
- Put heat packs on the body parts that hurt
- Eat a healthy diet
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day
- Prevent infections by washing your hands and getting your vaccinations
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Stay warm
- Take all prescribe medications by your doctor
- Take vitamins
- Avoid places with low oxygen (mountains)
How do You Treat Sickle Cell Disease?
Sickle cell disease cannot be cured. However, there are several medications and treatments that can reduce your symptoms. These medications and treatments are antibiotics, folic acid, hydroxyurea, pain management, intravenous fluids, and penicillin. Treatment of sickle cell disease aims to relieve pain, control complications, and prevent infections, organ damage, and stroke. Blood and bone marrow stem cell transplants may help some individuals with the disease but researchers continue to look for new treatments.
**It is best to see your primary care physician regularly in order to treat your sickle cell disease! Please call 773-702-0660 to make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center.**
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