SICKLE CELL MINISTRIES

PROVIDING EDUCATION, COUNSELING & SPIRITUAL HELP

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Why Anemia? 

• Anemia is a condition in which a person’s blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells, or the red blood cells don’t have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color and carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

• Normal red blood cells last about 120 days in the bloodstream and then die. Their main role is to carry oxygen, but they also remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled.

• In sickle cell anemia, a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells occurs because sickle cells don’t last very long. Sickle cells die faster than normal red blood cells, usually after only about 10 to 20 days. The bone marrow can’t make new red blood cells fast enough to replace the dying ones. The result is anemia.

 

Treatment 

• Effective treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms and complications of sickle cell anemia, but in most cases there’s no cure.

• The goal is to relieve the pain; prevent infections, eye damage, strokes and control complications if they occur.

• Pain medicine: acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and narcotics such as meperidine, morphine, oxycodone, and etc.

 

Prevention 

• Identify what can trigger the “Crisis” such as stress, avoid extreme heat and cold weather, don’t travel airplane that is not cabin pressurized

• Maintain healthy lifestyle habits

a) Eating healthy

b) Avoid dehydration

c) Exercise regularly

d) Get enough sleep and rest

e) Avoid alcohol and don’t smoke

• Regular medical checkups and treatment are important

• Have your teeth clean one to two times a year

 

 

Tips for Families & Patients 

• Pregnant mothers need to get tested to determine if their unborn children have the Sickle Cell disease

• Parents need to ask their clinics and doctors on how to recognize crisis symptoms and care for their children

• Sickle cell patients should ask about possibility of getting tested for pulmonary hypertension (ask your doctor)

 

Simple things to help: 

• Apply hot warm towel to chest or back when in crises pain, it usually ease the discomfort.

• Know your pain tolerance level and know what works for you in reducing the pains.

• Eat right and eat well, understand certain foods may not agree with your body no matter how much you like them.

• Have your eyes checked regularly in order to prevent eye disease or blindness

• Maintain good oral hygiene - always brush your teeth as the last thing before bed time.

 

Other Helpful Hints: 

• Watch your lifestyles and make necessary changes. These include:

• Avoid smoking & drinking alcohol

• Have regular check up (don't wait until you are sick) when you do, always tell your doctors which medicines you are taking and foods

• Become knowledgeable about the disease (read books and check out the internet)

• Have a positive attitude (you can do anything you set your mind on with God's help. Phillipians 4:13)

• Let people know you may need help when you are sick and how best to take care of you and always carry your medical ID with you.

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• Learn to be active while containing your energy

• Avoid smoking & drinking alcohol

• Seek genetic counselling (genotype) to decide on marriage partner. Do not marry another person with sickle cell trait or disease to avoid having children with sickle cell (Please choose wisely).