According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sickle cell disease is a disease that causes life- long anaemia. This disease is accompanied by an excruciating and unbearable pain that rocks the entire body from head to toe like an electric shock. Sickle cell disease disrupts a person’s life and activities and cuts short one’s dreams. This is due to the fact that the time that should have been spent accomplishing one’s goal is used lying on the hospital bed. As a result of frequent crisis, one is always admitted in the hospital for treatment. Some of its symptoms are pain in the arms, pain in the feet, pain in the abdomen, fatigue and discolouration of the skin. Here are various tips that can be used in helping a sickle cell patient.
- Drink lots of water: Dehydration can lead to sickle cell crisis. This is why anyone that has this disease should drink a lot of water. There is no limit to how much a person can drink and this will lower the risk of having a sickle cell attack.
- Stay in well-ventilated areas: This is because if you stay in a place that has a low supply of oxygen, you may have the crisis. If you intend travelling, ensure you make preparations to go along with oxygen bags, so you are not caught unawares.
- Stay warm: Anyone who has sickle cell disease should always stay warm. If exposed to cold weather, it may trigger the ailment and make your condition worse.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Some habits should be avoided to minimize getting an attack. There should be no smoking, drinking or eating of unhealthy foods. Eating a balanced diet will help to boost your immune system and ward off diseases.
- Be aware of certain signs: It is advisable you know what the signs that come with sickle cell anaemia are. Some of the signs are pains in the arms and legs, leg ulcer, jaundice, vision problems and general fatigue. Knowing them will enable you to determine if the patient requires immediate medical attention or not. If you do not know what they are, you won’t be able to take necessary actions when needed.
- Take vitamins: Vitamins especially folic acid should be taken to help fight off infection and to build new red blood cells. Vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins such as spinach, turnip greens, garlic, and whole grains should also be taken.
- Stay away from stress: If you are diagnosed with this ailment, you should avoid doing anything that will make you easily tired. Any work that will put a lot of strain on you like lifting heavy objects should be avoided as this could trigger the disease.
- Exercise your body: Engaging in a little exercise will not cause harm to your body but would rather keep you active and smart. Stay away from doing strenuous activities like swimming as this could make you feel weak.
- Visit a doctor: If you do not get any positive result from the tips mentioned above, you can contact your doctor for further medical assistance.
Showing support to a sickle cell patient is one of the best assistance you can give to anyone with this ailment and if you want to help a sickle cell patient, you need to be there at all times. If the tips mentioned above can be adhered to, you will feel better in no time.
Photo Credit: Bostonherald