Sickle cell disease or sickle cell anemia is often not identified at an early stage of a child’s life, seeing as its symptoms or certain reactions aren’t evident until the child is about five (5) or six (6) months of age.
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At this age, certain symptoms become recurrent but yet cannot be fully concluded to be sickle cell anemia or sickle cell disease until certain testing and detection procedures are carried out. Symptoms that could occur include severe crying due to the intense pain present in the chest region, stomach region, knee region likewise.
Photo Credit: New York Times
Others would include wheezing sound attributed to the difficulty in breathing as there is low oxygen level in the body and blood, also a noticeable change in skin color that can be termed pale skin which is evident due to reduction in red blood cell, also there is the yellowing of the eyes and other certain parts of the body which is referred to as jaundice.
Photo Credit: Rukmani Birla Hospital
At this onset of these symptoms, parents are advised to take their children and themselves likewise for a sickle cell gene detection test and to begin immediate treatment for patients tested positive. Patients who have been tested positive for carrying the sickle cell gene ‘S’ tend to undergo certain changes which are seen in their red blood cell shape, and certain behavioral patterns and increase the rate of sudden crisis or episodes called the sickle cell disease crisis or episodes.
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Sickle cell disease also has its effects on the patient’s mental or psychological health, such that the patient suffers from the anxiety that might exhibit itself as aggressiveness at a certain age, and sometimes the patient finds himself or herself unable to live with the reality of being with such a disease that leads to depression and not wanting closure.
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Sickle cell anemia or sickle cell disease also affects the emotional health of the patient which leaves them feeling inferior to others and also feel like they are lacking full care and attention even if they are being supported, this tends to change over time with advancement in knowledge and experiences that shapes the mental and emotional aspect of the patient to think and reason much better.
Content created and supplied by: Dr-Kikiope (via Opera News )
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