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MUST TAKE MINERALS FOR SICKLE CELL PATIENTS

MUST TAKE MINERALS FOR SICKLE CELL PATIENTS

 

Sickle cell disease SCD also known as sickle cell anaemia is a genetic red blood cell disorder, and sickle cell warriors often experience episodes of pain and fatigue.

The key to a normal life with SCD lies in proper management which includes everything from proper nutrition to the type of environment and adequate exercise.

 

When it comes to proper nutrition, getting a balanced diet of all food groups is essential. From carbohydrates to proteins, fats, oils, vitamins as well as minerals. Today we choose to focus on those important minerals every SCD patient should take.

 

1.    CALCIUM

Calcium is an essential mineral that is necessary for everyday living. Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth and helps the body to carry out many important functions. Calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body, making a deficiency in calcium very dangerous to SCD patients and can lead to osteoporosis and Osteomalacia.

 

Calcium in our bodies is mainly in our bones and teeth, and since the body cannot produce its own calcium, it is important to get it from other sources.

 

SOURCES OF CALCIUM


Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are high in calcium. Green leafy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, collards, kale and legumes like chickpeas and other beans are high in absorbable calcium. Fruits high in calcium include Oranges, Grapes, Tangerines, Pears and Papaya.

It is possible to get direct amounts through your diet, but consider taking supplements prescribed by your doctor if you can’t get them.

 

SIDE EFFECTS

Taking calcium supplements in excess can increase the incidence of constipation, severe diarrhoea and abdominal pains. It could also cause kidney stones.

 

 

2.    POTASSIUM

Potassium is an essential macromineral and electrolyte. It helps the muscles work, including the muscles that control the heart and our breathing. It helps regulate blood pressure, helps with digestion, nerve impulses and helps balance the body’s pH.

Consuming too little potassium can lead to serious health issues, but too much can also cause severe health problems.

 

SOURCES OF POTASSIUM

As potassium cannot be produced naturally in the body, it must be gotten from the right balance of potassium-rich foods, which include

Fruits such as apricots, bananas, kiwis and pineapples. Vegetables like carrots and potatoes, nuts, beans, whole grains and lean meats are excellent sources of potassium. Adequate potassium can be gotten from foods but for people with low potassium levels, your doctor can prescribe a supplement.

 

Side Effects

Since the body is unable to metabolize excess potassium, it is removed by the kidneys. However, if the kidneys become unable to remove the excess potassium, it leads to Hyperkalemia. Symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pains and shortness of breath.

 

 

MUST TAKE MINERALS FOR SCD PATIENTS PART 2.

 

3.    ZINC


Zinc is a trace mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. It is considered an essential nutrient meaning that the body can’t produce or store it. This means that constant supply is needed and can be gotten through your diet.

 

Benefits

     Zinc helps to boost the immune system

     Zinc accelerates wound healing which is extremely important for people with SCD

     It may reduce the risk of certain age-related diseases

     It helps in decreasing inflammation.

 

Sources.

Many plant and animal foods are naturally high in zinc, making it easy for most people to get the amount they need. The foods richest in zinc are

     Shellfish: crab, lobsters, oysters, clam

     Meat: Beef, Pork, Lamb

     Poultry: Turkey, Chicken

     Fish: Sardines, Salmon

     Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans etc

     Vegetables: Mushrooms, kale, beets asparagus

     Eggs, milk, cheese, grains such as oats, quinoa, brown rice etc.

 

Side effects

Just like too little zinc is bad, too much can also lead to a negative side effect. To avoid overconsumption of zinc, avoid high dose supplements unless prescribed by your doctor.

 

 

4.    SELENIUM

Most of us have never heard of selenium, but this mineral is extremely vital to your health. Selenium is also an essential mineral meaning that it has to be obtained through your diet but, unlike others, is needed only in small amounts. However, it plays a significant role in body processes.

 

Benefits

     Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant

     It reduces the risk of certain cancers

     It helps to prevent mental decline.

     It is important for thyroid health.

     it helps to boost the immune system

     It helps reduce asthma symptoms.

 

SOURCES

The following foods are great sources of selenium: Oysters, Brazil nuts, Yellowfin tuna, eggs, sardines, sunflower seeds, chicken breasts, shiitake mushrooms.

 

SIDE EFFECTS

Although selenium is necessary for good health, high doses of selenium can be toxic and even fatal, so avoid excess intake of supplements.

 

 

So here are a few minerals that are important for sickle cell warriors. What others do you take or know about? Do you mind sharing with us?

 

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