What causes sickle cell disease? What is sickle cell disease? Sickle cell disease is a hereditary blood disease. It's characterized by a flawed hemoglobin molecule. Red blood cells shaped like doughnuts with no holes are usually smooth, disk-shaped, and flexible. They can easily pass through many blood vessels with ease. Patients with this disease have red blood cells that don't stick to the bottom of their vena cava (the large vein leading to the heart). Instead, they stick to the inside walls of the vessels. Sickle cell trait is a genetic mutation, where one sickle cell gene is replaced with another one. The normal function of that gene is to produce the protein bilirubin. This is used as an antioxidant. But in some cases, it can make the cell membranes more fragile. They become easily damaged. That's why they're more susceptible to damage. Symptoms of sickle cell disease : The symptoms of sickle cell diseases vary from person to person. However, generally, they affect the skin area - hands and feet. Sometimes they lead to skin lesions and blistery skin. People who suffer from this disease often can't live as long as normal red blood cells. Sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease are linked by an iron deficiency. That's one reason why people with these diseases don't live as long as normal cells. Their body doesn't produce enough hemoglobin, not enough red blood cells, and not enough oxygen. Because of those things, they can't transport enough oxygen through their blood. And that's how they get sick. Sickle cell anemia, like many other types of hemoglobinopathies, can be treated. If it's severe, surgery may be necessary. Other treatments include steroids, diuretics and anticoagulants, chemotherapy, and radiation. In some severe cases, doctors need to remove the sickle vessels themselves. That's called a thrombectomy. Another severe condition is stroke. When blood vessels are damaged in the brain, the nerves aren't able to send the messages it needs to perform its function. A stroke, or a stroke, happens when blood vessels in the brain are blocked or damaged. It can happen while you're walking, running, riding a bike or playing sports. Even if you're sitting at your desk, you could be susceptible to a stroke.
What causes sickle cell disease? Scientists have found a gene that appears to play a role in sickle cell disease. It's called the sickle cell gene. It was first thought to be a rare genetic disorder, but it turns out that millions of people may have it. Because it's so common, scientists are looking for ways to treat other diseases associated with the sickle cell gene, like diabetes, kidney disease, or some cancers. What causes sickle cell disease doesn't just affect one person. If someone in your family has it, you run the risk. But even if your family history doesn't contain a gene for this problem, you still may develop it. And since it seems to run in families, you can be partially responsible by virtue of your genes. It's important to get regular blood tests and to stay in good health, but even with that, you may have to carefully watch what you eat and take steps to protect yourself. Other problems may include problems that affect the major organs. Heart disease is a problem that often develops when there are too many sickle cells in the body. People whose cells are large enough tend to experience problems with circulation. The lungs also may be affected, causing shortness of breath and coughing. Complications of sickle cell disease : What causes Sickle cell disease also suggests an answer as to why anemia develops. In order to get Sickle Cell Disease, your blood must contain abnormally high levels of hemoglobin. This is usually caused by a variety of factors including anemia, infections, and smoking. Anemia may develop later in life as well, however. People whose ancestors developed Sickle Cell Disease around the age of five months may also develop anemia as they get older. Sickle cell disease may cause other problems as well. Because it affects the blood, it can make oxygen-less accessible to the red blood cells. This can lead to problems with fainting or other physical injuries. Kidney diseases may also be caused when the kidneys become damaged due to the high concentration of hemoglobin. This concentration of hemoglobin can reduce the ability of the kidney to eliminate waste products from the body. Children who have the sickle cell trait are at risk for conditions like hyperactivity, fragile bones, and neurological disorders. However, children with normal hemoglobin are much less likely to exhibit these issues. Scientists are continuing to research what causes sickle cell trait and how the disorder affects people of all ages. In the meantime, parents who suspect their child may have the illness should contact their pediatrician for more information. Sickle cell diagnosis : Sickle cell disease can be diagnosed in one of two ways. A blood test is used to look for abnormalities in your hemoglobin. High levels of the protein alpha subunit of the red blood cell require that you also have a low level of complement in A in your blood. This is the protein that helps your body make up hemoglobin, which carries oxygen-carrying substances to and from your cells. When you're sickle cell disease diagnosed, your doctor will order a blood test called a venous blood test. There's no need to worry about results right away because they only need to be performed in less than half an hour. You may also be asked to submit to other tests, depending on the severity of your sickle-cell disease. They may perform an organ scan to see if you have any abnormal deposits or masses in your organs, or they might order a biopsy to see if you have suffered any internal organ damage. A CT scan can also be ordered. This uses sound waves to get a good view of the inside of your heart and lungs. These scans will help doctors determine if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with organ damage.