How to Avoid The Complications of Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a disorder in which the red blood cells become misshaped and crumble down. It is named so because the red blood cells form a sickle shape. The red blood cells die prematurely, thereby reducing the number of healthy red blood cells in the body. The lack of healthy blood cells is what causes sickle cell anemia. This disrupts blood flow causing pain in the body. A blood test can check for the disease. The sickle cell anemia treatment can start only after the correct diagnosis of the disease has been made.
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Lifestyle and home remedies that help to prevent complications of sickle cell anemia.
- Take supplements for folic acid and eat a healthy diet – Folic acid is vital to creating new red blood cells. You must consult your doctor about which folic acid supplements and other vitamins you must take. Bone marrow requires folic acid to grow red blood cells. Also, have a healthy and balanced diet. Your diet must comprise green leafy vegetables and plenty of fruits and whole grains.
- Keep yourself well hydrated – Consume lots of water. Dehydration can only worsen the pain arising out of sickle cell anemia. You must have at least 8 to 12 glasses of water every day. If you are staying in a hot, dry, and arid region, and if you are doing regular workouts and exercises, you must increase your water consumption beyond the 12 glasses.
- Avoid going to places with extreme temperatures – You are at an increased risk for sickle cell anemia if you are exposed to either extreme heat or cold.
- Moderate exercises – Exercise is good but do not overdo it. You can consult your doctor as to what exercise and how much of it would be sufficient for you.
- Use caution while using OTC Medicines – You must consult your doctor before using any Over Counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin IB, Children’s Motrin, etc. You must not take an overdose of it as it can affect the kidneys. The dosage of these medicines should be taken as prescribed by your doctor.
- Quit Smoking – If you are a smoker, you must quit the habit. Smoking only aggravates the pain of sickle cell anemia.
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Coping and support
If you or someone you know suffers from sickle cell anemia, you might need help in coping with the problem. You can interact with people who are suffering from the same. Listening to the stories of courage and success builds your confidence and gives you the positivity that is so important to face the problem. There are support groups too, who render their help, advice, and support to all the distressed people. In addition, you can talk to your doctor and find out ways to cope with the pain. Along with medications, there are different techniques to curb pain like eating pads, massages, physiotherapy, hot baths, etc. Each one works differently on different people. Therefore, you must take the advice of your doctor.
The sickle cell anemia treatment cost varies from one treatment center to another. This is a chronic disease that can last for years or maybe even for a lifetime.