Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease is a red blood cell disorder that affects hemoglobin,
which is the protein that carries oxygen throughout your body. Healthy red blood cells are flexible and disc-shaped. With sickle cell disease, red blood cells become crescent shaped and too rigid to move easily through the body. This blocks blood and oxygen flow in the body.


Sickle cell is an inherited disease. Therefore, having a family history of the disease increases your risk of the disease.

Causes and Risk Factors of Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is caused by a defective gene that is inherited by your parents
If you inherit one sickle cell gene from your mother and one from your father, you will have the disease. If you inherit one gene, you become a disease carrier
Parents that are carriers for sickle cell disease have a 1 in 4 chance of having a child that has sickle cell disease
Slide 1
Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease symptoms usually start around 6 months of age. Keep a close eye on any of the following symptoms that may occur as they may be an indication of sickle cell disease.

Slide 2 - anemia

Checking your cholesterol levels

Anemia is a large part of sickle cell disease as it has to do with your red blood cells and their ability to properly function.

Healthy red blood cells live for about 120 days.

Sickle red blood cells usually die in only about 10-20 days.

Because of this, those with sickle cell disease experience a lack of oxygen flowing through the body which causes major fatigue and tiredness.

Slide 3 - pain

Why Levels Matter

Sickle red blood cells can block the blood flow to certain areas of the body, such as the chest, abdomen, or joints. This causes intense pain in these areas, and this pain can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and may even require hospitalization depending on the pain intensity.

Pain Episodes

Those with sickle cell disease may experience intense pain due to blood flow issues.

Cholsterol, when combined with other substances in your body, forms a thick layer in your arteries. This is bad because it makes your arteries narrower, and this makes it harder for blood to flow to your heart and throughout your body.

Slide 4 - other issues
Frequent infections - sickle cell disease can damage the spleen which decreases your ability to fight infections
Swelling in the hands and feet caused by poor blood circulation
Types of Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol: one is good and one is bad. The bad type is low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol. The good type is high-density lipoprotein, or HDL cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol in your body increases your risk of cholesterol buildup in your arteries.

Vision issues due to clogged blood vessels in the eyes

Stunted growth due to lack of nutrients from red blood cells

Other symptoms associated with sickle cell disease
Low-Density Lipoprotein
High-Density Lipoprotein
Treatment of
Sickle Cell Disease

Below you can learn about the most effective treatment options for sickle cell disease and click the button for a prescription savings card

Blood/Bone Marrow Transplant
This is a procedure performed at a hospital that replaces diseased red
blood cells with healthy red blood cells from a donor
Prescription Medications
Medications can be used to reduce or prevent complications from the disease but will not treat the actual disease
Hydroxyurea is a medication that lowers the amount of pain episodes, reduces anemia, and reduces the need for hospital visits. Above is a savings card for this medication
Over the Counter Medications
Over the counter pain medication (such as Ibuprofen) can be used to
help control the pain caused by sickle cell disease
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