In the bloodstream of a healthy person, red blood cells move through small blood vessels, to carry oxygen to various parts of the body. When the red blood cells become hard, sticky and look like a “C” or a tool used in farming called a “sickle”, a person is considered to have Sickle Cell Disease.
When the sickle cells die early, there becomes a shortage of red blood cells. This, in turn, means less oxygen for the body within the bloodstream. When the cell travels through small blood vessels they can become lodged and clog the blood flow. This can cause the person to have pain and other serious problems such as infection.
3 Common Types of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
• HbsSS – This is when a person inherits two sickle cell genes (“S”), one from each of their parents. This is most commonly known as Sickle Cell Anemia and is known as the most severe form of the disease.
• HbSC – A person with this form if SCD has inherited a sickle cell gene (“S”) from one parent and abnormal hemoglobin that is called “C”. Hemoglobin is the protein that allows a red blood cell to carry oxygen. This is usually known as a milder form of SCD.
• HbS beta thalassemia – A person who has this form of SCD has inherited one sickle cell gene (“S”) from one parent and one gene for beta thalassemia(another type of anemia), from the other.
Diagnosis of SCD
When testing for SCD, a blood test is administered. It is often found at birth during the routine newborn screening but can be diagnosed before birth. Children who are infected with SCD have a higher risk of infection and other health problems. It is important to seek sickle cell disease treatment in Columbus MS as soon as possible.
Those who have been diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease begin to show signs as early as five months of age. Symptoms vary from person to person, and so the Sickle Cell Disease Treatment in Columbus MS varies as well. While the only known cure for SCD is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, living with the disease does not have to be as scary as it sounds. For more information on what to expect, Schedule an appointment with a professional health-care provider or specialist.