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Sickle cell anemia

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disorder caused by abnormal hemoglobin. A person with sickle cell anemia typically has red blood cells that are shaped like a crescent moon (or "sickle"), hence the name. These abnormal cells cannot carry oxygen effectively, leading to a range of physical symptoms.

The most common symptom of sickle cell anemia is pain. Pain episodes, or "crises," can range from mild to severe and can affect any part of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, pale or yellowish skin, cold hands and feet, and frequent infections. Some people with the disorder may also experience vision problems or strokes.

Complications of sickle cell anemia can include organ damage, such as to the spleen or kidneys. It can also lead to acute chest syndrome, a life-threatening condition that is characterized by fever and difficulty breathing.

Treatment for sickle cell anemia focuses on managing pain, preventing infection, and reducing the risk of complications. Pain medications, antibiotics, and transfusions may be recommended. Some people may benefit from stem cell transplants or gene therapy.

Sickle cell anemia is a serious, lifelong disorder that requires regular monitoring and care. Patients should work with their doctors to create a personalized treatment plan that meets their needs and helps them live a healthy life.

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