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National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Sickle cell disease is a great concern all over the world. It affects nearly 100,000 people in the United States and every year, roughly one in 500 African-American babies is born with it. It is an inherited disorder that causes red blood cells to abnormally take on a rigid C or sickle shape and can get stuck inside the blood vessels and block the blood flow. This may lead to severe pain and infections and can cause serious complications like organ damage and stroke. Proper knowledge and alertness about the disease are key to its prevention. September is designated as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and it is high time to make people alert about its causes.

Let us discuss some of the best ways to create alertness:

Know the Disease

Self-awareness about any disease is the most essential thing to prevent the complications to some extent. First of all, it is important to know that this disease is not contagious. And even though this disease is a chronic one, patients can still lead very productive lives. Researches are working on the development of new medications that stop sickling of red blood cells and improve the flow of blood.

Get Regular Check-ups

This disease occurs when a child inherits sickle hemoglobin genes from the parent. If it comes to your knowledge that anyone who’s planning to have a child, is a carrier of the disease, make them aware of the consequences. Explain the necessity to consult a genetic counselor before trying to conceive. He can explain about the risks, preventive measures and possible treatments available. Regular health checkups can help prevent serious problems.

Donate Blood

Patients with this disease should get regular blood transfusions in order to ensure the red blood cells flow smoothly throughout their body. You can organize a blood donation camp in your community to create awareness about the need for donation of blood.

Participate Events in Social Media

In this awareness month, many support organizations conduct various events through social media like Facebook and Twitter. You can also participate and post your experiences. You may join the Twitter party which is being organized by the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America to raise awareness.

Recommend Healthy Lifestyle Changes

To make new red blood cells, you need vitamins and folic acid. Hence, choose a nutritious diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. Try to avoid extreme climate like too cold or too hot. Keep regular appointments with your physician and take your medicines regularly as prescribed.

Update Clinical Studies

Scientists and Physicians have learned more about this and they know how it affects the body and how to prevent the possible complications. Further, a lot of research work has been going on to find better treatment and cure for this disease. You can take part in these studies to update your knowledge about the new medicines and treatments.


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