results from abnormalities in the blood structure of certain individuals.
What to look for
joint pain, pain in the
abdomen, or along the arms and legs.
fatigue, jaundice, and
delayed growth and
a painful persistent
This disease is inherited
and is quite common in African countries. To develop sickle cell anaemia, a person must
inherit two sickle cell genes. When only one gene is present, a person has another form of
sickle cell disease known as sickle cell trait in which they will not get the full blown
This disease can have fatal
consequences as it can affect different parts of the body. These people have episodes
called crises in which certain organs can be deprived of oxygen for a period
of time. The frequency of these crises varies. If repeated enough, organ damage can be the
This disease is genetic.
It is vital that this
disease be diagnosed and treated early. A blood test can identify people with the trait or
the disease. Couples can be tested before conception.
At present, no cure exists
but people with the disease can learn to control the symptoms.
If your child has
sickle-cell anaemia, it is important to guard them from infections, which can lead to
dangerous complications. In addition to standard immunisations, your child should also
vaccines for influenza and pneumococcus.
Ask your doctor about all
the preventative steps you can take to help your child.
This disease must be
handled by a conventional medical doctor. However there may be benefits in investigating
the alternative therapies as well.
Maintaining a good healthy
diet, drinking plenty of fluids, taking regular, moderate exercise, and getting enough
sleep. Avoid any infections if possible by teaching your child good dental hygiene, having
regular check ups at the doctors and being current with all their vaccinations.
When to seek further
your infant's hands or
feet swell and the baby shows signs of anaemia.
your affected child's
abdomen is swollen and rigid.
painful episodes persist
more than several hours.