Sickle cell anemia is a disorder in human blood in which human body starts producing red blood cells in sickle or crescent form. Sickle cell contains hemoglobin S that leads to the production of red blood cells in crescent or sickle shape.  Sickle cell does not lasts more than 10 to 20 days and bone marrow is unable to develop red blood cells so fast that it can replace the dying red blood cells which leads to the deficiency of red blood cells thus causing Sickle cell anemia.

Symptoms and causes of Sickle cell anemia

Sickle cell anemia is mainly caused sue to lifelong diseases or is genetically inherited from the parents. The symptoms of Sickle cell anemia do not come before age 4 months. The patients suffering from Sickle cell anemia have painful sessions which are also known as crisis. These crises can range from hours to days and affects the chest, long bones and back bone. There were cases in medical history in which these painful sessions last for years. The common symptoms of Sickle cell anemia are bone pain, fever, fatigue, paleness, increased heart rate, ulcers forming in lower legs, jaundice, breathlessness, abdominal pain, growth delay and puberty, excessive thirst, frequent urination, strokes, blindness or poor vision, prolonged and painful erection.

Tests

There are several types of tests which are used by doctors in order to diagnose and monitors Sickle cell anemia patient. Some of these tests are Sickle cell test, complete blood count, hemoglobin electrophoresis, urinary casts, blood oxygen, MRI or CT scan, bilirubin, peripheral smear and many more.

Treatment

The ultimate goal of treatment is to control and manage symptoms and to limit the number of pain sessions.  It is need to be understood that a patient suffering from Sickle cell anemia have to go through ongoing treatment even when the patient is not having painful sessions.  It is recommended to the patient that he or she should take folic acid supplements as it is required to make red blood cells.  The treatment of Sickle cell anemia includes intake of lots of fluids, blood transfusions, hydrea a medicine which helps in reducing the painful sessions, chest pains and breathlessness. Patient who are suffering from severe Sickle cell anemia are treated with surgery for eye problems and painful errections, kidney transplant for kidney related diseases. There are lots of treatments like stem cell transplant and bone marrow transplant which promise cure of Sickle cell anemia however it depends upon the availability of donors.

Prevention

Sickle cell anemia can only occur in a child whose parents carry sickle cell trait thus parents having sickle cell trait to go for genetic counseling.  A person who is diagnosed with Sickle cell anemia can prevent its red blood cells from forming sickle shape by taking enough fluids, oxygen and quick treatment of infections.  In order to avoid painful sessions the patient suffering from Sickle cell anemia should avoid smoking, non pressurized flights, avoid too much sun exposure and other events that reduces oxygen level.

Anemia is a medical condition which rises in human body due to the deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood and is commonly known as poor man disease. Irrespective of its anemia can cause to any human being from any class of society. There are several types of anemia which can be caused due to various reasons. But what’s important is that it should be taken seriously. The treatment of anemia is done on the basis of its factor. In medical terms anemia is not a disease but a deficiency which leads to other disorder in the body.  There are over 400 types of anemia however most of them are rare. Below are some of the common forms of anemia:

Forms of Anemia

Pernicious Anemia– Pernicious anemia causes due to the lack of Vitamin B12 in the human body. This type of anemia is quite common in age group of 50-60 years. Pernicious anemia is mostly caused due to hereditary factor but in some cases autoimmune disorders also cause Pernicious Anemia.  The symptoms of Pernicious anemia are Dyspnea, fatigue, heat palpitations and numbness or tingling sensation in the body.

Aplastic anemia- Aplastic anemiais generally caused due to the reduction in quantity of red blood cells in human blood. The major cause of Aplasitc anemia is heavy blood loss due to injury or heavy menstruation, exposure to toxins or hepatitis. The reduction in red blood cells make a human body exposed to various infections as less RBC results in decreased fighting ability of the body. The symptoms of aplastic anemia includes pale skin, increased heartbeat, multiple infections, heart failure, heavy bleeding and lethargy.

Sickle cell anemia– Sickle cell anemia is caused in a human body which is suffering from a lifelong disease. In Sickle cell anemia the red blood cells are formed in the form of sickle by human body, these red blood cells are tend to form clumps which get stuck in the blood vessels causing serious organ damage, pain and multiple infections. High fever, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, jaundice, pale skin and severe pain in the body are some of the symptoms of Sickle cell anemia.

Thalassemia – Thalassemia is a genetically inherited disorder which leads to heavy damages to red blood cells. The levels of Thalassemia totally depend upon how much haemoglobin is produced by blood cells during this time. The symptoms of Thalassemia are swelling in liver and spleen, chest pain, dizziness, dark colored urine.

Iron deficiency anemia – Iron deficiency anemia, as the name suggests, is caused due to the deficiency of iron in human body. Iron plays an important role in the production of red blood cells in human body. Any reduction in the quantity of iron in human body can affect the production of red blood cells which causes Iron deficiency anemia.  The deficiency of iron can be due to heavy blood loss, poor diet, chronic illness and gastrointestinal infections. The body suffering from Iron deficiency anemia shows symptoms such as frequent headaches, irritability, brittle hairs and nails, increased heartbeat.

Classification of Anemia

 

Anemia is broadly classified as:

 

Microcytic Anemia– Microcytic Anemia is a term used to characterize a type of anemia which is caused when the size of the red blood cells (RBC) is smaller than the usual. In Microcytic Anemia these red blood cells are even paler than usual RBCs as they cannot perform hemoglobin synthesis. Now Microcytic Anemia is a broad classification and some types of Anemia like Iron deficiency anemia, sideroblastic anemia, and anemia caused due to chronic disease, lead poisoning, pyridoxine deficiency all fall under this category.

 

Macrocytic Anemia- Macrocytic Anemia is again not a disease but a condition in where the red blood cells or RBCs are larger than their usual volume. In Macrocytic Anemia condition the larger red blood cells so the collective number of the cells decreases and also each cell contains insufficient amount of hemoglobin. Macrocytic Anemia can be further classified in two main parts which are known as megaloblastic anemia and non megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia is caused due to the lack of vitamin b12 or folic acid in human body. Pernicious anemia can be characterized under Macrocytic Anemia as pernicious anemia is caused because of poor capability of human body to absorb vitamin b12.

 

Normocytic Anemia- Normocytic Anemia is caused when size of red blood cell remains normal but the overall level of hemoglobin is increased.  Some types of Anemia caused as a result of chronic disease, hemolytic anemia and aplastic anemia all can be categorized as Normocytic Anemia. Normocytic Anemia can also be caused when a person suffers from acute blood loss.

 

Dimorphic – Dimorphic is a condition when a human body suffers from two or more causes of anemia simultaneously.