Sickle Cell Crisis Triggers

Coping with a sickle cell disease or sickle cell anemia is not easy at all; it is very difficult to cope with the condition. When your red blood cells are attacked and have little or no hope of surviving, they give up and have a shape like that of a farm tool we call the sickle.

The pains of sickle cell disease are extremely debilitating. Since red blood cells transport oxygen to the body of every living organism, to the organs and tissues, they are more than important than other cells in the body. But sickle cell anemia makes it harder for these red blood cells to carry enough oxygen around the body. If enough blood isn’t flowing well to the organs, sickle cells are known to obstruct this flow of blood. This causes a debilitating condition known as sickle cell crisis.

A sickle cell crisis can definitely lead to serious complications and can last for several days, weeks, or even months. These complications could result in failure or improper functioning of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

What triggers a Sickle Cell Crisis?

Medical experts haven’t fully comprehended the causes of a sickle cell crisis. But one thing they are certain is that it involves reactions between red blood cells, white blood cells, and the platelets. These are spontaneous reactions. However, possible triggers of sickle cell crises include:
1. Stress
2. Illness
3. Dehydration due to low blood volume
4. Shortage of oxygen due to disproportionate exercises
5. Infections
6. High altitude ( such as mountain climbing), due to the little availability of oxygen concentrations in the air
7. Smoking
8. Diabetes also causes sickle cell crisis

How Sickle Cell Crisis can be treated

Home Treatment
You can treat sickle cell crises at home. This means not all crises require that you see your doctor. However, it’s advisable to see your doctor because when a crisis first starts, your doctor would advise that you drink plenty of liquids and use some powerful over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen. He would also advise you on other important things to use to prevent or fight the pains. Other over-the-counter drugs to use include:
Aspirin
Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
You could also get along with a sickle cell crisis in the following ways.
Bathing with warm water
Hydration
Rest
Massage

Medical Treatment

Medically, two drugs have really been proven to help treat a sickle cell crisis. One of the drugs is called L-glutamine oral powder (Endari). This drug is very powerful and has been proven to help prevent sickle cell crises, and, thus prevents hospitalizations.
Another powerful drug which has proven its supremacy over a sickle cell crisis is Hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea). It prevents the abnormal red blood cells from forming. This reduces the number of crises from sickling blood cells.

Prevention of a Sickle Cell Crisis

Truly, you can’t always prevent a sickle cell crisis. But reducing your risk of getting a sickle cell crisis is easy. Below are some of the ways of reducing the risk of a sickle cell crisis.
Your hands must be washed frequently to avoid infections
Stay up to date on your medications
You ought to manage your stress
You ought to avoid smoking and being dead drunk
Report to your doctor when your diabetes is severe

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