If are you suffering from acute chest pain, high fever, shortness of breath and low count of haemoglobin, you have sickle cell disease. The disorder leaves a negative impact on the human body, and a wide range of signs indicates how severe it can become if it remains untreated.
Sickle cell disease is a red blood cell disease which is inherited by people. An abnormal amount of protein and swelling of hands and feet may call for this crisis. The disorder can adversely affect various parts of the body including the brain, eyes, lungs, liver, kidney, and heart. Prepare yourself about early signs and symptoms to take medical help at the earliest possible.
Signs to look out for Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease leads to a stiff neck and headache in the primary stage. The numbness or weakness in legs or arms is also the problem developed by this health condition. You may have issues in seeing things due to the change in vision. However, there are various health complications which indicate that you are in need of sickle cell anaemia diagnosis.
1. Fever accompanied by Difficulty in Breathing
Nowadays sickle cell disease in adults has become prevalent, and the early symptoms include fever along with prolonged pain. If your temperature is higher than 101°F (rectally), 99.3°F (maxillary) and 100.4°F (orally), you should rush to the emergency room of a haematology clinic at once.
Sickle cell disease also develops problems in breathing, and you may suffer from chest pain. Shortness of breath, rapid breathing or persistent cough is observed vividly among children and adults.
Fever is one of the results of bacterial infections. Bacteria like salmonella, meningococcus, and Chlamydia put people’s lives in danger.
2. Bodily Pain
Sickle cell anaemia causes severe pain, and it becomes persistent over time. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen fails to offer needed relief, and a man may suffer from painful penile erection which can last more than one hour.
Chronic pain can be the cause of different health conditions including stress, temperature change, illness, and dehydration.
3. Low Level of Haemoglobin
Sickle cells are short-lived, and their life-span is shorter than regular red blood cells. They cannot survive for long due to their odd shape, and generally, they live around 20 days. On the contrary, the red blood cells can live approximately 120 days.
Blood can generate red blood cells continually, but they are diminished rapidly. Therefore, the red blood cell count in a human body is always low and so is sickle cell disease haemoglobin. Lack of oxygen is another result of this problem.
To monitor the haemoglobin level, frequent blood tests are necessary. A blood transfusion may be needed in many critical cases. If you undergo sickle cell disease, you appear more tired, and your eyes become yellow due to low haemoglobin.
One of the sickle cell disease complications is a stroke where the brain does not get enough supply of oxygen and blood. Children aged between 2 and 10 years are mostly a victim of this severe condition.
If you have developed sickle cell disease, loss of consciousness may become a risk. At this time, you may fall to the ground or fall asleep fast. Sickle cell disease stroke often leads to loud groaning, stiff body, and secretion of foam or saliva from mouth and tremors, quick movements and swelling of legs and arms.
The earliest sickle cell disease treatment has decreased the risk of suffering from stroke and other brain complications.
5. Aplastic Crisis
Sickle cell disease management refers to the fact that the aplastic crisis is another grave concern. The human body ceases to produce new red blood cells because of the virus, namely, parvovirus B19. At this time, the haemoglobin level drops, and it is treated immediately.
The symptoms of aplastic crisis refer to whole body weakness, paleness of tongue and lips, headache, lethargy, and fainting.
The sickle cell disease can enlarge a person’s belly, and it hurts if you touch the abdominal area. As the blood cells are confined in the spleen, the belly grows. You can take the help of the doctor to learn how to understand the spleen is enlarging.
Splenic sequestration leads to the development of various symptoms related to sickle cell disease which includes pale skin, dizziness, and fatigue.
6. Acute Chest Syndrome
One of the sickle cell disease symptoms is acute chest syndrome, and it is a critical health condition. At this time, the patient should be hospitalized and reported to a medical emergency. Due to sickle cell disease, blood flow is restricted in the lungs. Pneumonia is one of the common triggers led by acute chest syndrome.
The pain crisis may vary from severe to mild, and it results in fever, chest pain and abdominal pain.
7. Pulmonary Hypertension
Adults are at high risk of developing pulmonary hypertension and in this condition, blood vessels are injured. The heart then struggles to pump blood, and the blood vessels fail to function properly. Fatigue and shortness of breath are two common side effects to be seen.
Pulmonary hypertension leads to two types of conditions including blood clots in your arteries and artery walls to become rigid after birth. Currently, there is no cure for this sickle cell disease sign, and it is a chronic condition. The risk of untimely death is higher in this case.
8. Leg and Joint Conditions
Sickle cell disease has the potential to affect legs giving rise to leg ulcer and legs become abnormally large. The number of ulcers differs but they quickly recover. However, there is a high chance of the leg ulcer to relapse again.
The sickling in hip bones and shoulder and knee joints can become more complicated with this disease. Problems may arise while walking and joint replacement may be a way of getting relief. Lack of oxygen in the ankles is a serious condition, and aseptic necrosis is the result of it.
For sickle cell disease prevention, you should include more iron-rich foods in your daily meal. In this way, you can stay away from other health complications and lead a safe life afterwards.
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