Various Treatment approaches
Treatments include the medications to get relief of pain and prevent further complications. Currently, stem cell transplantation is the potential cure for disease and the approved as well. Others are blood transfusions and some Home remedies to treat the condition.
The penicillin, an antibiotic is given to the SCD affected a child at the age of 2 months old and continue until the age of 5 years. The drug is used to prevent infectious conditions such as Pneumonia which might prove to be fatal for infants or children with SCD.
The drug works by stimulating the production of fetal hemoglobin which is found in newborns that helps in preventing the formation of Sickle cells. If taken daily, it reduces the frequency of painful crises and may reduce the chances of blood transfusions and hospitalization.
Be cautious as its long term usage might increase the probability of infections and other health problems. Also, don’t they prescribe to the expecting mothers?
3.Pain Relieving Medication:
To relieve the painful sensations, doctors prescribe the over the counter pain relievers and also advice the apply a heating pad to the affected area.
4.Bone Marrow transplant
Also called the Stem cell transplant. The procedure involves replacing the SCD affected bone marrow with healthy bone marrow from a donor. For this, the matched donor is needed such as siblings without SCD. But in most cases, the donors are not available and therefore stem cells from umbilical cord blood are only the option.
If the donor is found, then transplantation is done by injecting the healthy stem cells intravenously into an affected patient and it migrates to the bone marrow and starts producing new blood cells.
This treatment option is only recommended to the patients with significant symptoms and problems from sickle cell anemia. Also, it requires a lengthy hospital stay and doctors prescribe the medications to help prevent the rejections of donated stem cells. In some cases, the body might reject the transplant which causes life-threatening conditions.
In this treatment, RBCs are given intravenously from a healthy donor to the patient which increases the possibility of normal RBCs in circulation and relieves anemia. This treatment option might decrease the risk of other complications but carry some risk as well. As it increases the iron in the body which can damage the liver, heart and other organs, therefore, regular transfusions need a side treatment to reduce iron levels.
Here the potential cause is the lack of oxygen which damages the organs, therefore, an oxygen mask is the option to supply extra oxygen in systemic circulation to breath easily. Also, it decreases the intensity of chest syndrome and sickle cell crisis.
B.Experimental treatment Options
The drugs generally use to lower down cholesterol but also help to decrease the inflammation. In SCD, it makes healthy blood flow through vessels.
patient suffering with SCD has a low level of nitric oxide in the blood results in clumping of RBCs.Nitric oxide keeps the capillary open and avoids the stickiness of RBCs.Nitric oxide with other combination treatment improves the condition.
The important causative factor is the faulty gene, therefore, scientists are experimenting whether inserting the regular gene in the bone more of an affected individual whether to produce regular hemoglobin or not. Still, this treatment is a long way off and not any trials with genes have been done yet.
Include a high intake of folic acid supplements as bone marrow required folic acid and other vitamins for the formation of healthy red blood cells. Therefore add some green leafy vegetables, fruits, and entire grains to boost folic acid level.
Use a heating pad to relieve from painful swelling of hands and feet.
Hydrate the body at most to avoid the chances of sickle cell crises. Thus take at least 8 glasses of water in a day and increase the water intake if you workout and hang out in a dry environment.
Prevent exposure to direct heat or cold environment as it may increase the risk of sickle cell crises. Exercise daily to reduce the stress level but consult the doctor.
Take Over the counter medications for painful effects after consulting the doctor as sometimes taking decongestants like pseudoephedrine constricts the blood vessels and thus sickle cell might not flow thoroughly.
Consult the doctor immediately if you find any infractions as immediate consultation reduces the risk of upcoming severe complications.