#september #sicklecellawareness #houston #silentkiller #nocure
Sickle cell disease is an inherited life-threatening blood disorder that affects the red blood cells. These sickled cells carry less oxygen to parts of the body and when these misshaped cells are clumped together causes pain crisis. It affects African Americans, Hispanics, Greeks, Italians, East Indians, Saudi Arabians, Asians, Syrians, Turks, Cypriots, Sicilians, Caucasians, and others. Sickle cell disease is quietly devastating. Its symptoms can occur in any part of the body. Persons with the disease extremely vulnerable to infections. They may also suffer from jaundice deterioration of joints, kidney infections, recurrent severe pain episodes, strokes, blindness and a shortened life expectancy. Sickle cell disease can lead to other ailments. These include strokes, kidney and liver problems. There is no cure. Specifically, Sickle cell disease is characterized by defective hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues of the body). Sickle cell disease inhibits the ability of hemogloblin in red blood cells to carry oxygen. Cells containing normal hemoglobin are smooth, disk-shaped, and flexible, like doughnuts without holes, so they can move through the vessels in our bodies easily. Cells containing sickle cell hemoglobin are stiff and sticky and form into the shape of a sickle or crescent, like the letter C, when they lose their oxygen. These sickle cells tend to cluster together, and cannot easily move through the blood vessels. The cluster causes a blockage in small arteries or capillaries and stops the movement of healthy, normal oxygen-carrying blood. This blockage is what causes the painful and damaging complications of sickle cell disease.
Sickle cells only live for about 10 to 20 days, while normal red blood cells can live up to 120 days.
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