Sickle cell anemia is a type of anemia. Anemia is a condition where your blood has lower than normal number of red blood cells. Sickle cell anemia is a dangerous illness where the body of an affected person produces red blood cells that are shaped like a letter C. Usually red blood cells look like donuts that do not have holes. These red blood cells flow freely in the body’s bloodstream. Sickle-shaped red blood cells are more difficult to move around the blood vessels because they are hard and sticky. A cluster of abnormal red blood cells blocks circulation to the veins going to the extremities and internal organs. Blocked vessels cause severe discomfort and multiple internal organ failure. If you are suffering from sickle cell anemia, follow these tips to improve blood circulation in your body.
- Avoid stressful situations. Being stressed all the time raises your blood pressure. This will make your system work double time that might increase your risk of triggering a sickle cell crisis. Relax. Do not be involved in things that may increase your stress levels. But if stress cannot be avoided, try to reduce it by delegating other things to people close to you.
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times. Having plenty of fluids in your body and bloodstream dilutes your blood and makes it thin enough to circulate freely inside your blood vessels. This will prevent sickle cells from forming in your bloodstream.
- Take antibiotics and pain relievers. Taking antibiotics such as penicillin can prevent infections from occurring, thus worsening your sickle cell anemia. Over-the-counter pain reliever medications can relieve pain during a sickle cell crisis.
- Exercise regularly. But do not over do it. Consult your doctor on which exercises you can do to improve your blood circulation.
- Eat healthy. Eat foods that are not only healthy on your body, but on your blood as well.
- Stay in low areas. If possible, avoid places with high altitudes. High places have low supply of oxygen. Your blood will find it difficult to produce enough oxygen to keep up with the high altitude. This can cause you to form sickle cells.
- Travel in pressurized aircraft cabins. Unpressurized airplane cabins do not provide enough oxygen that can trigger a sickle cell crisis. You can also drink plenty of water when traveling by air as pressurized cabins can be dehydrating.
This kind of anemia is hereditary and anyone who has it has to deal with the disease his whole life. If both of parents have sickle cell traits, the person is very likely to have sickle cell anemia. If only one the parents has the trait, it will still be passed on to child. But he will not have sickle cell anemia. If he marries someone who has the same trait, they will pass the DNA on to their children. Blood tests can determine if a person has this kind of disease. Sickle cell anemia does not have a cure. However, with the right medications and precautions, it can be managed and prevented from getting worse.