Sickle cell disease is a genetic blood disorder that affects a number of people across the globe. This disease causes red blood cells take the shape of a crescent or sickle. The damaged sickle cells tend to clump with each other and get stuck to the walls of the blood vessels that often block the flow of blood and lead to severe pain.
This may also cause permanent brain damage along with harming heart, kidneys, spleen, liver and lungs. There are various symptoms that suggest the development of sickle cell disease in the body. Some of the symptoms of the sickle cell disease include severe pain, anemia, delayed growth, menstrual problems, hand-foot syndrome and frequent infections.
Different Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease
Anemia is one of the most prominent symptoms of sickle cell disease. The sickle shaped blood cells are very fragile and can easily break down, causing anemia. The sickle red blood cells can live just for about 10 to 20 days comparatively quite low to the 120 days in a normal body. This causes a serious shortage of the red blood cells in the body that leads to anemia. Due to the lack of sufficient red blood cells the body fails to get enough oxygen to function with energy resulting in fatigue in anemia.
Pain is a very important symptom of sickle cell disease. In this disease, you would experience episodes of pain in different parts of the body that develops mostly when the sickle shaped blood cells block the blood vessels linked to the chest, joints or abdomen.
You may even feel severe pain in the bones. Though the intensity of the pain may vary and last for just a couple of hours or linger together for weeks. In this disease, some patients may experience pain for few episodes whereas others may feel it a dozen times or even more.
In the sickle cell disease you will also observe problems in the hands and feet of babies. The feet and hands often get swollen due to the blockage of the blood that needs to flow out of the feet and hands. This is a very common symptom of sickle cell disease that is found mainly in babies.
Frequent infections are also common in this disease. It is capable of damaging the spleen, which is a very important organ responsible for fighting different infections.
Thus, people suffering from sickle cell disease become vulnerable to various infections.
Delayed growth is one of the main symptoms of sickle cell disease, mainly observed in babies and infants. As the red blood cells reduce in the body, the development of the babies slows down owing to the obstruction in getting sufficient nutrients and oxygen required for the proper development and growth of a child. This also causes delayed puberty and menstrual problems in a number of teenagers.
Sickle cell disease also leads to various vision problems. The blood vessels linked to eyes get plugged due to sickle cell disease and causes eye sight problems. It can also damage the retina that is responsible for processing the visual images.