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Sickle cell anemia – Diagnosis and treatment

Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle cell disease can’t be cured with medications. The only known cure for sickle cell is via bone marrow transplant, but the procedure is expensive and complicated because it requires a parent or sibling whose bone marrow is a complete match to the sicklers’ so they can be a donor. I write about bone marrow transplants in detail here.

 

Treatments used by doctors to manage ss anaemia include; 

 

Antibiotics; as patients are prone to infections because of their low immune system, which is why doctors start giving them antibiotics from the age of two months old

Medications for pain; ss patients require powerful pain medications to help relieve them of pain. Some of the ones I am usually given include morphine, hydromorphone or codeine

Hydroxyurea; is a drug used for treating cancer that has proven effective in managing sickle cells. It works by increasing fetal haemoglobin. The more fetal haemoglobin the bone marrow can produce, the less sickling and crisis a sickle cell patient will have. Like every drug, it has done side effects. Not everyone can tolerate the medication, but I have been lucky that it works for me. It helps reduce sickling but requires very close monitoring. I do blood work biweekly to ensure that my WBC aren’t too low and my treatment can be adjusted accordingly.

Blood transfusions; some sickle cell patients require frequent blood transfusions to help them manage severe anaemia. While a healthy individuals haemoglobin is usually 12g/dl, most ss patients live on haemoglobin of 8g/dl and less. This causes severe fatigue, shortness of breath and pain, hence the need for transfusions. Blood transfusions increase the number of normal red blood cells, improving the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the body of sickle cell disease. The downside to regular blood transfusions, though, is the risk for iron overload, which could result in damage to the liver, heart or other organs.

I know this all looks grim but cheer up; there’s hope!

By the grace of God, I have been in crisis-free for seven years now. I use natural remedies that have greatly improved my health. The bonus is that they are easy to follow and inexpensive, with little to no side effects. Check out this video to see how I significantly increased my haemoglobin in three weeks.

Check out the below links for practical tips I’ve used to stay healthy and well over the last seven years.

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