Sickle Cell Anaemia

Normal RBC’s (red blood cells) are smooth surfaced, enabling them to change their shape to flow through small blood vessels. Under certain conditions RBC’s containing hemoglobin become rigid, elongated, and sickle shaped.

These sickle-shaped cells are not flexible; they stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage of blood flow resulting into reduced supply of oxygen in nearby tissues causing sudden, severe pain attacks, called pain crises.

Prevention and cure options are similar to that of Thalassemia. Like Thalassemia, people with Sickle Cell Anaemia are born with two sickle cell genes, one from each parent.

Thalassaemias are the most common in Asia, the Mediterranean basin, and the Middle East. Sickle-cell disease predominates in Africa.

Some patients with thalassemia should not be given iron-rich foods as they already had iron overload from regular blood transfusions and adding iron rich food can worsen their iron overload related various complications.