Did you know the sickle cell trait is an evolutionary advantage for humans? The question coming to your mind would be – WHY.
Here’s the reason. When present in heterozygous form (when the person inherits one copy of the mutated gene), it can protect against malaria. The altered shape of their red blood cells can make it more difficult for the malaria parasite to reproduce and survive within the cells. This resistance reduces the severity of malaria symptoms and lowers the risk of death from the disease.
But when present in its homozygous form (when an individual inherits two copies of the mutated gene), it can result in severe health complications, outweighing the evolutionary advantage.
Keep on reading about sickle cell anemia and its treatment in India.
(People Also Like To Read: Bone Marrow Treatment In India)
What Is Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is one of the conditions in the group of inherited hematologic disorders called sickle cell disease. The genetic disorder affects the shape of the red blood cells and creates complications with the overall blood flow.
Our red blood cells are round and flexible in shape. Round and disc-shaped RBCs can carry optimal oxygen to different body parts. This shape also enables them to move freely in the blood plasma.
A specific genetic mutation changes the shape of RBC from round to that of a sickle or crescent moon. These sickle cells also become rigid and sticky, slowing or blocking blood flow.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sickle Cell Anemia?
The symptoms of sickle cell anemia can appear around six months of age. The symptoms include:
- Anemia: While normal RBCs survive in the blood plasma for 120 days, sickle-celled RBCs live only for 10-20 days. This creates a shortage of RBCs in the blood, which leads to fatigue as oxygen transportation gets hampered.
- Episodes of Pain: People having sickle cell anemia have a pain crisis. It happens when sickle-shaped red blood cells block blood flow through tiny blood vessels to your chest, abdomen, and joints. The pain varies in intensity and can last a few hours to a few days. Some people have only a few pain crises a year. Others have a dozen or more a year. A severe pain crisis requires a hospital stay.
- Swelling Of Hands And Feet: The swelling happens when sickle-shaped red blood cells block the blood circulation in the hands and feet.
- Frequent Infections: Sickle-celled RBCs can damage the spleen, making your body susceptible to various infections.
- Delayed Growth Or Puberty: As sickle cell anemia compromises with the oxygen and nutrient carrying capacity of RBCs, it delays growth and puberty in a child.
- Vision Problems: Tiny blood vessels that supply the eyes can become plugged with sickle cells. This can damage the retina — the portion of the eye that processes visual images — and lead to vision problems.
What Causes Sickle Cell Anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is caused by a change in the gene that tells the body to make the iron-rich compound in red blood cells called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. The hemoglobin associated with sickle cell anemia causes red blood cells to become rigid, sticky, and misshapen.
What Are The Complications Of Sickle Cell Anemia?
The disorder comes with a host of complications, such as:
- Stroke: As sickle cells can block blood flow within the arteries, it can lead to stroke. Signs of a stroke include seizures, weakness or numbness of the arms and legs, sudden speech difficulties, and loss of consciousness.
- Acute Chest Syndrome: The condition happens when the sickle cells block blood flow through the blood vessels carrying blood to the lungs. This life-threatening complication results in chest pain, fever, and difficulty breathing.
- Pulmonary Hypertension: People with sickle cell anemia can develop high lung blood pressure. This complication usually affects adults. Shortness of breath and fatigue are common symptoms of this condition, which can be fatal.
- Organ Damage: Blood is chronically low in oxygen in sickle cell anemia. This lack of oxygen-rich blood can damage nerves and organs, including kidneys, liver, and spleen, and can be fatal.
- Splenic sequestration: A large number of sickle cells can get trapped in the spleen, causing it to enlarge and possibly causing belly pain on the left side of the body. This can be life-threatening.
- Blindness: Sickle cells can block the vessels carrying oxygen to the eyes, leading to blindness over some time.
- Leg Ulcers: Sickle Cell anemia can cause painful open sores on the legs.
- Gallstones: The breakdown of red blood cells produce a substance called bilirubin which gets stored in the liver, whose high levels can lead to gallstones.
- Priapism: Sickle cells can block the blood vessels in the penis, leading to impotence over time. It also leads to painful, long-lasting erections.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis: Sickling of red cells can cause blood clots, increasing the risk of a clot lodging in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis) or a lung (pulmonary embolism). Either can cause severe illness or even death.
- Pregnancy Complications: Sickle cell anemia can increase the risk of high blood pressure and blood clots during pregnancy. It can also increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and having low birth weight babies.
How Is Sickle Cell Anemia Diagnosed?
A blood test can check for the form of hemoglobin that underlies sickle cell anemia. Other tests include:
- Assessing Stroke Risk: A particular ultrasound machine is used, which uses sound waves to measure the blood flow in the brain.
- Tests To Detect Genetic Abnormalities Before Birth: Sickle cell disease can be diagnosed in an unborn baby by sampling some fluid surrounding the baby in the mother’s womb (amniotic fluid).
How To Treat Sickle Cell Anemia?
As sickle anemia is a genetic disorder, there is no treatment to cure sickle cell anemia. Treatment includes medications and blood transfusions, usually aimed at avoiding pain episodes, relieving symptoms, and preventing complications.
- Hydroxyurea: It reduces the frequency of painful crises and might reduce the need for blood transfusions and hospitalizations.
- L-glutamine oral powder: It also helps reduce pain crisis frequency.
- Crizanlizumab: This drug is given via injection and helps reduce the frequency of pain crises.
- Voxelotor: This oral drug can lower the risk of anemia and improve blood flow.
- Pain-relieving medications: Depending on the case, your doctor can prescribe narcotics to help relieve pain during sickle cell pain crises.
2. Surgical And Other Procedures
- Blood Transfusions: Red blood cells are removed from a supply of donated blood, then given through a vein to a person with sickle cell anemia. This increases the number of normal red blood cells, which helps reduce symptoms and complications.
- Stem Cell Treatment: Also called bone marrow transplant, this procedure involves replacing bone marrow affected by sickle cell anemia with healthy bone marrow from a donor. The procedure usually uses a matched donor, such as a sibling, who doesn’t have sickle cell anemia. It is the only known cure for sickle cell anemia.
Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment Cost In India
The cost of sickle cell anemia treatment in India depends on the severity of the disorder and the treatment prescribed by the doctor. Depending upon the treatment, the cost of sickle cell anemia treatment in India ranges between $3,500 to $23,000.
Top Hospitals For Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment In India
Many hospitals provide apt sickle cell anemia treatment in India. The country has one of the highest success rates in the world for bone marrow transplants. GoMedii has compiled a complete list for you for sickle cell anemia treatment in India.
The hospitals are:
- Apollo Hospitals, Bannerghatta, Bangalore
- Gleneagles Global Hospital, Hyderabad
- Medanta the Medicity, Gurugram
- Care Institute of Medical Sciences, Ahmedabad
- BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Delhi
- Venkateshwar Hospital, Delhi
- Fortis Hospital, Bangalore
- Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai
- Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, Delhi
- Batra Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Delhi
FAQs On Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment In India
1. What is a sickle cell test called?
High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is the preferred method for determining the presence of sickle cell trait or disease by analyzing blood samples. By examining the blood, HPLC can accurately identify an individual’s specific type of hemoglobin.
2. Do sickle cell anemia patients live long?
With timely proper treatment, people with sickle cell anemia can live long lives and enjoy most of the activities other people do.
3. What are the normal hemoglobin levels in a sickle cell anemia patient?
Individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) generally exhibit hemoglobin levels ranging from 6 to 11 grams per deciliter (g/dL), whereas those without SCD typically have hemoglobin levels around 12 g/dL. Decreased hemoglobin levels can pose challenges for the transportation of oxygen by red blood cells throughout the body.
Hence, sickle cell anemia patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities as they can cause fatigue.
4. What is the difference between sickle cell anemia and sickle cell disease?
Sickle cell disease is an umbrella term used for a group of inherited blood disorders characterized by abnormal hemoglobin, specifically hemoglobin S (HbS), due to genetic mutations.
Sickle cell anemia is a specific type of sickle cell disease that produces predominantly abnormal hemoglobin. This abnormal hemoglobin causes red blood cells to change from their standard disc-like form to a sickle or crescent shape. These deformed red blood cells can lead to blood vessel blockage, reduced tissue oxygen supply, and various health complications.
5. What is the cost of sickle cell anemia treatment in India?
Depending upon the treatment, the cost of sickle cell anemia treatment in India ranges between $3,500 to $23,000.
Choose GoMedii For Affordable Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment in India
If you want affordable sickle cell anemia treatment in India, you are at the right place and time! Trust GoMedii with your treatment; we assure you of a top-notch, hassle-free process.
We have tie-ups with one of India’s most reputed hospitals to get you the best treatment at an affordable cost. Furthermore, to avail of our packages, you can contact us on our Website and call us at +91-9599004311. Additionally, you can also email us at email@example.com. Our team will respond to you on a priority basis.
Book Your Appointment Today! [su_button url=”https://wa.me/919599004311″ target=”blank” style=”stroked” background=”#2def2f” size=”4″ icon=”icon: whatsapp”]WhatsApp Now[/su_button]
Feel free to drop your queries through this form. Our team of experts will contact you!
(People Also Like To Read: Testicular Torsion Treatment In India)
Disclaimer: GoMedii is a recognized and a considerate healthcare platform which tends to connect every dot of the healthcare needs and facilities. GoMedii facilitates the accessibility of all health news, health tips, and information from the Health experts and Doctors to the eyes of readers. All of the information and facts mentioned in the GoMedii Blog are thoroughly examined and verified by the Doctors and Health Experts, elsewise source of information is confirmed for the same.
About GoMedii: GoMedii is a Healthcare Technology Platform That Works Out Your Treatment / Surgery the Way You Need & Plan. A Treatment partner that simplifies the patient journey at every step. Drop Your Queries for the most affordable & world-class treatment options.You may simply download the GoMedii app for Android or iOS.