Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects more than 70,000 Americans of African descent, as well as millions more around the world. While it can be managed with pain management and other therapies, this condition can cause some significant side effects in daily life for those who live with it. Here are 10 ways that sickle cell disease affects your daily life.
Diet and Nutrition
Sensitivity to Temperature Changes
Exercise Routine Section
Stay Organized. Stay Productive. Stay On Task
Never Stop Learning, Never Give Up
1) Staying Hydrated
The best thing that sickle cell patients can do for themselves is to stay hydrated. Although it’s not clear why those with SCD are more likely to become dehydrated than other people. If you have SCD, try to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day (that’s about eight cups).
This will also help you prevent other health issues like kidney disease and urinary tract infections. You’ll also want to monitor your salt intake since dehydration causes an increase in your need for sodium. Try to get most of your sodium from food so that you don’t have to take any supplements. Check out these tips on How To Stay Hydrated When You Have Sickle Cell Disease – they’ll help!
Haemoglobin S cells have stiff, rod-like shapes, so they don’t squeeze through small blood vessels very well. Instead of flowing smoothly through tiny capillaries and veins (the smallest type of blood vessel), they get stuck there and cause blockages.
This results in swelling or stasis and it can limit physical activity. If you have SCD, you might need to avoid intense workouts in order to prevent getting a stasis event. But even low-level movement can be a challenge for some people who suffer from sickle cell disease.
Even if you aren’t experiencing pain right now, keep an eye out for symptoms like chest pain, breathing problems, headaches and muscle cramps. Get help immediately if these occur! Some other ways that SCD can affect your daily life include I was diagnosed with SCD when I was 11 years old, but I didn’t know what it meant until much later.
That is why we should talk about more things that are going on in our community instead of just making jokes about how we feel pain all day every day or how many hospital visits we have had. We should try to educate others on what we go through every day without being overdramatic and try to show them what we are really capable of doing as humans despite our disease because sometimes society sees us as less than them due to their misconceptions about our illness.
Sleep quality is important to anyone’s overall health, but especially so for people living with a chronic condition. Because most SS patients have periodic bouts of severe pain and discomfort, managing pain and finding a good night’s sleep is critical to staying productive. If you live with sickle cell disease (SCD), your risk of experiencing sleep issues increases. To manage your SCD, follow these tips:
1. Set up a strict sleeping schedule; start going to bed and waking up at a set time every day
2. Establish early bedtimes; if you go to bed early enough, you can get more out of each day
3. Keep your room dark and quiet
4. Use the over-the-counter or prescription medication as necessary
4) Diet and Nutrition
People with SCD should follow a high-protein, low-sodium diet. Protein gives your body energy and helps repair cells. Low sodium and salt, because can cause swelling. And avoid very cold foods and drinks, as they may cause pain in your hands or feet.
A balanced diet is important to meet your body’s needs for energy, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients without getting too much of any one thing that might be bad for you in large amounts. Ask your doctor what foods are right for you, especially if you’re already at risk for malnutrition or anaemia (lack of red blood cells).
5) Hair Care
Haircare is one of those things that we don’t realize matters a lot until we have to deal with it. When someone has anaemia, they might have a hard time getting their hair to look right, which can make them feel less confident in general. The good news is that there are certain steps you can take as an individual with sickle cell disease and as a parent or caregiver of someone with sickle cell disease. First and foremost, drink plenty of water – at least eight glasses a day – to get all of your nutrients in you. Workouts aren’t always easy for people with sickle cell disease, but making sure you exercise is just as important for your overall health as it is for people without sickle cell disease.
6) Clothing Choices
Depending on your needs, doctors may advise you to wear loose-fitting clothing that’s made of soft, breathable material and avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes. Tight clothing can restrict blood flow to and from your extremities. It’s important for those with SCD to consider their shoes as well People who have SCD should wear comfortable shoes with closed toes that don’t pinch or squeeze their feet tightly.
If you walk a lot at work, it’s especially important to choose walking shoes that are sturdy, provide good support and cushioning, and have a flexible sole.
7) Sensitivity to Temperature Changes
The cells in a person with sickle cell disease are fragile and easily damaged by temperature changes. If you’re carrying an illness, be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. If you’re outside, wear a hat and stay out of direct sunlight.
Also, keep your hands warm! As soon as you step outside into winter weather, put on a pair of gloves. These little things can save your body from major damage that could otherwise keep you out of commission for days.
8) Exercise Routine Section
Because of SS disease’s pain, people tend to avoid physical activity. That can lead to even more pain, as well as health problems like heart disease and diabetes. People with SS disease are encouraged to stay active and make exercise a part of their everyday life.
Exercising for just 20 minutes 3 times a week can greatly reduce symptoms like severe pain and fatigue, improve mood and help with muscle function. The key is finding activities that don’t cause pain. Some good options include swimming, low-impact aerobics and yoga. However, sickle cell patients need to be aware of certain precautions when it comes to exercise.
9) Stay Organized. Stay Productive. Stay On Task
Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disorder that is present at birth. It affects an estimated 100,000 people in the United States and millions worldwide. The disease causes red blood cells to become sickle-shaped and die early, which can prevent enough oxygen from reaching organs, especially during periods of high activity. People with SCD are at risk for kidney failure, stroke, and pulmonary embolism because their blood can’t deliver oxygen to vital organs such as their brain and lungs. Without treatment (mainly pain management), people with SCD usually have shorter life spans than other Americans.
A key reason that chronic health conditions like sickle cell disease (SCD) are so difficult to manage is that SCD often causes a number of seemingly unrelated symptoms, which can make it difficult to connect all of them back to SCD.
To help you stay organized and keep track of your symptoms, try keeping a journal with you at all times. If you feel dizzy or nauseous while waiting in line at the grocery store, take out your journal and jot down how long you felt bad. if you have an appointment with your doctor later in the week, add a note about what he or she said about those symptoms.
It’s important to keep your energy levels up as you take on daily tasks. Make time for regular breaks, and avoid over-exerting yourself if you’re fatigued.
Stretch throughout your day and make sure you’re getting enough sleep so that you can deal with fatigue when it rears its ugly head.
Stay On Task
A common trait that people with sickle cell disease share is a lack of energy. This stems from their red blood cells being broken down at an increased rate and creating buildup in vital organs.
The sickled cells also have a hard time passing through smaller blood vessels, meaning that these individuals are prone to back pain and even strokes. Thankfully, there are ways to cope with these symptoms and continue living life as normally as possible.
10) Never Stop Learning, Never Give Up
You may already know that people with sickle cell disease have a hard time breathing and can even die from it. What you might not know is just how many other ways a sickle cell can affect your life. But, as you’ll see in our list of 10 ways that SCD affects daily life, most of them are manageable you just need to be willing to work with a doctor and do whatever is necessary for your health.
Most importantly, don’t give up! It will require more energy than you may think to achieve wellness and keep it, but ultimately the benefits outweigh any challenges you face.