Did you know that as many as 100,000 Americans are living with sickle cell disease? For those living in and around Lafayette, Louisiana, help is available through the care of family medicine physician Patrick Moore, MD, of Moore Healthcare Group. To learn more about sickle cell disease, call the office to schedule an appointment or book online today.
Sickle cell disease is a term used to describe a group of red blood cell disorders that are inherited. Your red blood cells are round in shape and work to carry oxygen throughout your body to support cell functions.
People with sickle cell disease have abnormal red blood cells. They are more firm and sticky than they should be and also die earlier than normal, which leaves you with fewer red blood cells to transport oxygen. Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to become misshapen, and they take on a curved shape like the blade of a sickle.
Because sickle cell disease is an inherited condition, it’s passed down from one or both parents.
In most people, the signs of sickle cell disease begin to emerge as early as six months of age. Knowing what to look for can help parents know when to bring their child in for assessment, or when to seek diagnostic services for themselves.
Some of the indications of sickle cell disease include:
If these changes develop, come in for a thorough evaluation at Moore Healthcare Group. Dr. Moore can diagnose sickle cell disease from a simple blood test.
Treatment focuses on managing the symptoms of sickle cell disease and improving the availability of oxygen within your blood.
Medications might be a part of your treatment plan, including drugs that reduce pain outbreaks, help your body move blood more effectively, or lower your risk of anemia.
Vaccines are an important part of living a healthy life with sickle cell disease. Because people with sickle cell disease have a higher risk of infection, these diseases can be severe. Some children and adults with the condition need to take penicillin over long periods to protect against infection.
Blood transfusions are also a good treatment option for sickle cell disease, especially in those who’ve had a stroke or are at a high risk for stroke. Transfusions increase your overall red blood cell count, which in turn, improves oxygen levels within your blood.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of exercise are all important to reduce your risk of serious symptoms of sickle cell diease.
To learn more about sickle cell disease, call Moore Healthcare Group or book an appointment online today.