What Is Sickle Cell?
Sickle cell anemia is a type of anemia. Anemia is a condition in which your blood has lower than the normal number of red blood cells. This condition also can occur if your red blood cells don't contain enough haemoglobin. It is the most common form of sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD is a serious disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle- Shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent. Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center.
They move easily through your blood vessels. Red blood cells contain an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin. This protein carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Sickle Cells Contain abnormal hemoglobin called sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. Sickle hemoglobin causes the cells to develop a sickle or crescent shape. In sickle cell anemia, the number of red blood cells is low because sickle cells don't last very long.
Sickle cells usually die after only about 10 to 20 days. The bone marrow can't make new red blood cells fast enough to replace the dying ones. Sickle cells are stiff and sticky. They tend to block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs. Blocked blood flow can cause pain, serious infections and organ damage.
Its not a communicable disease.
it is heriditery.
it is a lifelong disease; people who have the disease are born with it. They inherit two genes for sickle haemoglobin (one from each parent). People who inherit a sickle haemoglobin gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other parent have a condition called sickle cell trait or are referred to as carriers.
Sickle cell trait is different from sickle cell anaemia. People who have sickle cell trait don't have the disease, but they have one of the genes that cause it( thus are carriers), Like people who have sickle cell anaemia, people who have sickle cell trait can pass the sickle haemoglobin gene on to their children.
Sickle cell anaemia has no widely available cure. However, treatments can help with the symptoms and complications of the disease. Blood and marrow stem cell transplants may offer a cure for a small number of people.
Sickle cell anaemia varies in individuals. Some people who have the disease have chronic (long-term) pain or fatigue (tiredness). However, with proper care and treatment, many people who have the disease can have improved quality of life and reasonable health much of the time.
Due to improved treatments and care, people who have sickle cell anaemia are now living into their forties or fifties, or longer.