Sickle Cell Anemia Treatment
Currently the treatment of sickle cell anemia is generally only intended to prevent the recurrence of sickle cell crisis, relieve symptoms, and prevent the emergence of complications. The treatment of sickle cell anemia may include:
- Bone marrow transplant. The only method of treatment that can cure this condition completely is through transplantation or bone marrow transplantation. Through this method, the bone marrow of the patient will be replaced by a donor bone marrow that can produce healthy red blood cells. But it is not easy to find a bone marrow donor. In addition, this method is also at risk of complications, such as convulsions, strokes, and tumors.
- Overcoming sickle cell crisis. To cope with sickle cell crisis that often recur (more than six times a year), the doctor will usually prescribe a drug is able to stimulate the body to produce a type of hemoglobin that is not affected by sickle-cell mutation called hemoglobin fetus (HbF) to replace the hemoglobin after birth ( Hb) is broken. Although quite effective, the use of hydroxycarbamide can cause various side effects. Besides being able to thwart contraception and increases the risk of defects in pregnant women, the use of hydroxycarbamide without a prescription is feared this may lower blood viscosity at a dangerous level and lower levels of white blood cells in the body that makes a person consuming it prone to infection.
- Pain handling. If you feel pain that interferes when undergoing a period of sickle cell crisis, try to relieve a way to compress the affected part with warm towels, take his mind off the pain (eg, playing video games, watching movies, or reading favorite stories), drink plenty fluids to increase blood flow is blocked, and taking pain medication that is sold at pharmacies (eg paracetamol. If the pain has not disappeared and even more disturbing, see your doctor. Your doctor will probably prescribe pain medication at a dose of stronger containing A combination of codeine and paracetamol or inject morphine.
- Overcoming anemia. To overcome the symptoms of blood deficiency or anemia in patients with sickle cell anemia, the doctor will usually prescribe supplements of vitamin B9 or folic acid and recommend the types of food that is needed to increase the production of red blood cells. The food group may include liver, green beans, peas, potatoes, and spinach).
- Overcoming stunted growth. For children with growth problems, doctors may prescribe zinc supplements to stimulate bone and muscle growth. Meanwhile, to overcome the problem of puberty in adolescents with sickle cell anemia, the doctor is likely to perform hormone therapy.
- Prevention of infection. To prevent the risk of infection, doctors usually will recommend sickle cell anemia patients to be immunized, namely hepatitis and meningitis immunization. In addition to immunization, doctors are also likely to prescribe a number of antibiotics.
- Prevention of stroke. To prevent the risk of stroke, it is recommended to undergo transcranial doppler scan (TCD scan) each year. Through this ultrasound assisted examination method, the level of fluid flow in the brain can be seen. If doctors suspect a blockage of blood flow by blood cells sickle risk of causing a stroke, then the doctor may recommend blood transfusion to increase blood supply to the brain.
In addition through the drug doctor, we can also apply a healthy lifestyle in everyday life in order to minimize the symptoms of sickle cell anemia. Examples of healthy lifestyles in these conditions are to regularly eat healthy foods with balanced nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, and fruits), do sports that doctors recommend (usually mild exercise that is not too draining energy), and drink enough fluids.
You are also advised to stay away from factors that can trigger a sickle cell crisis, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, using drugs, experiencing stress, being in high areas with low oxygen levels, and are in extreme temperatures.