Hello GlobalMusic4 Life Fans! Over here at GM4L we have been enjoying the holidays and working on new projects for this upcoming year. We hope your holidays were splendid as well!
Today I am discussing sickle cell anemia. I usually reserve my little blog to ailments that you can avoid or that you can develop. However today I would like to do this one. I feel it is important to know about illnesses even if you cannot get them. We need to learn what others are going through and how to help them as well as ourselves.
Did you know there was more than one form of sickle cell anemia? Me neither. There are five major variations with the most prevalent being HbSS. This is the one with a life expectancy of @45 years. Some live longer some shorter as with any disease. There are the milder forms, Hb C, Hb E, Hb beta thalassemia, Hb SC (one parent with SS and one with C) and Hb O. Although sickle cell anemia is prevalent in those of African descent, in America 1 in 12 African Americans has the recessive gene in their family, 1 in 100 Latinos, and 1 in 5,000 people of Arab and North African, and Mediterranean descent. Because of the different racial groups mixing, there are many cases of people having the gene from different groups.
Beyond HbSS, the other sickle cell anemia disorders have a significantly higher life expectancy. The age of 65 is the mean, which is only ten years younger than the general population. With great health habits, light exercise, regular doctor’s visits, and close attention to what happens to your body, a person with the disease can live longer than the averages and enjoy their life.
Sickle cell anemia is an anemia. It is a genetically based disease that is recessive in nature. To have it wholly, one must have two parents with the gene. Usually this is diagnosed with an infant and if the parents know they are carriers can be test via amniotic fluid. The gene affects the production of hemoglobin which makes the red blood cells red and enables them to carry oxygen throughout the body. Normal, healthy blood cells are flexible and round. In HbSS sickle cell anemia, the cells are rigid, crescent shaped and low in iron and heme and therefore oxygen. The sickle shaped cells get stuck in small blood vessels and cause a myriad of health problems. The anemic cells live, on average 20 days whereas normal blood cells live 120 days. Less oxygen and a significantly shorter life span are what HbSS offers its sufferers. With the other sickle cell anemia’s the blood cells can be a bit more flexible, oddly shaped but more useful.
Sickle Cell Syndrome: Crisis
Crisis equals pain! That seems rudimentary. However pain is the body saying this is where the problem is. People who suffer from sickle cell anemia may have pain anywhere in their body. The chest, abdomen, joints, bones, and extremities can all be affected. Problems with the spleen can lead to more infections. Problems with the small blood vessels in the eyes can have a negative effect on vision, even blindness.
Sickle cell anemia patients also deal with swelling of the hands and feet, priapism (swelling of the penis), gallstones, and skin ulcers. In severe crisis, the symptoms of a stroke may occur! Weakness, sudden numbness, confusion, blurred vision, trouble walking, and weak muscles in arms, legs, and feet. This is again due to the clogged up blood vessels and lack of blood flow and oxygen. When this happens patients have to be hospitalized.
What to do?
There is no cure for sickle cell anemia. However, there are more and more effective treatments becoming available. These include bone marrow donors in severe cases, blood transfusions with a supplement to lower the excess iron, light exercise to help the joints and stimulate blood flow, and oxygen treatments. Gene therapy is an exciting new treatment where the gene that encourages fetal hemoglobin production is introduced. Then of course there are a variety of pain medications and vitamin supplements, particularly folic acid. Sufferers are also told to avoid extreme weather shifts, too hot like Arizona in the summer or too cold like Chicago in the winter. The point is to keep the body at a mid-point so a crisis does not develop.
Why should you care if you do not suffer from this? The same reason you care about prostate cancer if you are a female or ovarian cancer if you are a male. We need to know so we can empathize, assist, and help keep our loved ones and community healthier. Sickle cell patients may need assistance when in crisis, women and men may need genetic counseling so they can avoid their offspring being ill. (Carrying a two recessive genes), and sometimes just someone a little knowledgeable about their medical condition to talk to.
Do you have a friend or family member with the sickle cell anemia gene? How do you know? Do not assume anything based on race or ethnic group, it is genetic and can be carried from generations past. Have you ever had your genes tested for any genetically based condition? Tell me about it! I am at MsMelissa@Melissaweblog.com
Currently, my sponsor, GlobalMusic4 Life Inc., is having a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly.com. Our goal is to reach 1 million dollars. That is a huge goal. We are feeling quite big! However our job is big. The goal is to pay off expenses and put give away 200,000 copies of Dr. Kiki Hurt, M.D.‘s book Save Your Own Life: Mini Medical School. How the body works; When to seek medical attention. GlobalMusic4 Life is a 501(3)c nonprofit so donations are tax deductible. Dawn M. Joseph co-authored the book and put in great pictures and tables with an easy to read layout. We are currently selling it on Amazon, itunes, and google play as well as the GlobalMusic4 Life website. Sells are not brisk, it’s not a book about freaky sex like 50 shades, or about a fantasy world like Harry Potter (both great books, I loved HP, JKR is my hero) but it is a great book.
“Save Your Own Life” contains basic information you should know about the human body, hospitals, medical specialties, and more. In the back there are tables where you can type in important medical data. You have space to type in current and past doctors, surgeries, allergies, cardiac device information, and much more. The book is listed as 24.99 on Amazon and google play (to cover the money they charge to sell them) and 8.99 on itunes and www.globalmusic4life.com The proceeds will benefit GlobalMusic4 Life Inc. The softbacks will be available soon. However for instant gratification, the .pdf, iBook, and android app version are available for immediate download. I did this and just printed out the tables and wrote the info on them. That way any new doctor or health care practitioner has instant access to my information. I also typed in information on my iPad and android tablets (You know I love tech)
See the links below. I even have a video with me showing the publisher’s copy of the book. Check out the links and if you have questions, contact me at MelissaMitchell@globalmusic4life.com
Love and Light,
My fundly: https://fundly.com/melissaweblog-new-book#
GlobalMusic4 Life crowdfunding fund raiser
Me showing Save Your Own Life.. on Youtube
For the pdf to your pc: (cheapest cost, buy it here and just donate the extra for a tax deduction)
For itunes ( iBook)
Want to just donate? Paypal = GlobalMusic1@aol.com
Or for my fundraiser: Funwoman1@aol.com