What is sickle cell anemia?
Sickle cell anemia, or sickle cell disease (SCD), is a genetic disease of the red blood cells (RBCs). Normally, RBCs are shaped like discs, which gives them the flexibility to travel through even the smallest blood vessels.
However, with this disease, the RBCs have an abnormal crescent shape resembling a sickle. This makes them sticky and rigid and prone to getting trapped in small vessels, which blocks blood from reaching different parts of the body.
This can cause pain and tissue damage.
SCD is an autosomal recessive condition. You need two copies of the gene to have the disease. If you have only one copy of the gene, you are said to have sickle cell trait
What are the symptoms of sickle cell anemia? Symptoms of sickle cell anemia usually show up at a young age. They may appear in babies as early as 4 months old, but generally occur around the 6-month mark.
While there are multiple types of SCD, they all have similar symptoms, which vary in severity. These include:
- excessive fatigue or irritability, from anemia
- fussiness, in babies
- bedwetting, from associated kidney problems
- jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin
- swelling and pain in hands and feet
- frequent infections
- pain in the chest, back, arms, or legs
What complications can arise from sickle cell anemia?
SCD can cause severe complications, which appear when the sickle cells block vessels in different areas of the body.
Painful or damaging blockages are called sickle cell crises. They can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:
- changes in temperature
- poor hydration
The following are types of complications that can result from sickle cell anemia. Severe anemia, Hand-foot syndrome, Splenic sequestration, Delayed growth, Neurological complications, Eye problems, Heart disease and chest syndrome, Lung disease, Sickle chest syndrome
There are several treatments for Sickle cell disease, namely:
New Treatments Prolong Life:
Hydroxyurea, which is an anti-tumor drug, appears to stimulate the production of fetal hemoglobin, a type of hemoglobin usually found only in newborns.
Fetal hemoglobin helps prevent the “sickling” of red blood cells and Patients treated with hydroxyurea also have fewer attacks of acute chest syndrome and need fewer blood transfusions
…but with some side effects like hair loss, weight gain, headaches, stomach upset, vomiting, Diarrhea, dizziness etc.
Bone Marrow Transplantation: The Only proven Cure. In this procedure a sick patient is transplanted with bone marrow from healthy, genetically compatible sibling donors.
However only about 18 percent of children with sickle cell disease have a healthy, matched sibling donor. Bone marrow transplantation is a risky procedure with many complications
Gene Therapy Offers Promise of a Cure:
Researchers are experimenting with attempts to cure sickle cell disease by correcting the defective gene, and inserting it into the bone marrow of those with sickle cell, to stimulate production of normal hemoglobin which was successful in mice, and scientist are hopeful this technique may work in Humans.
BENEFITS OF GLUTATHIONE ON SICKLE CELL PATIENTS
According to the treatment above hydroxyurea helps in the stimulation of fetal Hemoglobin to prevent sickling of the cells. Glutathione has been proven to prevent sickling of the cells by enhancing the stimulation of fetal hemoglobin in adults and children and also the stimulation of normal hemoglobin which is what is absent in sickle cell patients.
According to the proposed treatment of gene Therapy. Correction done on mice by adding anti-sickling human beta-hemoglobin gene a form of hemoglobin to correct the genes.
Glutathione has been proven to enhance and support the stimulation of healthy forms of all hemoglobin and also aid the correction of DNA and renewing of the cells in the body.
Oxidative stress as being implicated as the major factor responsible for multiple organ damage in Sickle cell disease which is also generated by the drugs administered.
Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant naturally mopping out free radicals and also recycling other antioxidants in the body.
And the Ribociene technology in Cellgevity raises Glutathione levels naturally in the body better than the better alternative natural without any side effects.