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Aurora magazine

Sickle cell anemia: causes and symptoms

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited genetic disease that affects red blood cells. The cells of those who suffer are in the shape of a crescent and are rigid, tending to aggregate. This makes it more difficult for them to move through the blood vessels and slows blood flow. In some cases, the modified red blood cells come to block circulation.

One of the major risks related to sickle cell anemia is ischemia. Because of the mutated red blood cells, the tissues do not receive enough blood and the cells die. Furthermore, the blood cells are more fragile than normal and this leads to a severe form of anemia.

The cause of sickle cell anemia is a mutation in the gene that regulates the production of hemoglobin. Protein is essential for the proper functioning of red blood cells and is what makes oxygen transport possible. In order for the disease to manifest itself, the genetic anomaly must be inherited from both parents. Otherwise, you are only healthy carriers.

Sickle cell anemia usually occurs around the fourth month of life. Among the symptoms there are:

  • Anemia. Sick red blood cells die in 10-20 days instead of 120 days. This causes a chronic cell deficiency, which in turn causes weakness, fatigue, visual difficulties, pallor.
  • Pain. People suffering from sickle cell anemia experience sudden painful crises, which can be longer or shorter. The aggregates of diseased red blood cells cause them, which hinder the passage of blood. Pain affects chest, abdomen, joints.
  • Extremities of swollen limbs.
  • Infections. The spleen is damaged by the diseased blood cells and fails to perform its functions within the immune system
  • Growth delay.
  • Poor eyesight.