For people who don’t know, sickle cell anemia is not normal anemia. It is something different from regular anemia. In sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells get in the shape of a sickle that is used to cut the wheat. This shape of the cells gives the disease its name. According to the Sickle cell anemia is usually inherited from the parents.
A cbc blood test initially is conducted when the initial symptoms of anemia are observed. Nowadays, there is a lot of information that is present on the internet. A lot of it is not true when it comes to sickle cell anemia. Like other things, there are a number of myths and misconceptions that have been spread among people. To know the truth, you can keep reading the article and educate yourself about what is right and what is wrong.
Top 5 Sickle Cell Anemia Myths to Understand
Some of the common misconceptions among people are mentioned below for you to understand.
Myth 1: Sickle Cell Anemia is a Contagious Disease
Sickle Cell Anemia is a genetic condition that is present in people by birth. There are only chances of Sickle Cell Anemia affecting you if an inherited gene of Sickle Cell Anemia enters you.
So, for children to suffer from sickle cell anemia only occurs as a result of abnormal hemoglobin genes from both parents. It is not possible for anyone to suffer from SCD if they get infected by the blood of someone who has already been suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia. There is no way you can suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia and say that it is contagious.
Myth 2: Sickle Cell Anemia causes pain that makes people drug seekers
There is no way a person exaggerates the pain that is felt during Sickle Cell Anemia. The most common symptom of Sickle Cell Anemia felt by people is severe pain. The severity of the pain can be understood by knowing that people who suffer from Sickle Cell Anemia have to take opioids to get relief.
Now this usage is increased with time as the body gets used to the medicine. This then causes the individual suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia seeks drugs more. Now, this is a completely wrong concept to think that either person is a drug seeker or is someone that likes indulging in the consumption of drugs.
Myth 3: Children born with Sickle Cell Anemia do not survive for long
For a very long period of time, it was observed that children with Sickle Cell Anemia didn’t use to survive. Now, it is observed that a good number of children survive and reach their adulthood as well.
It is very important to get your screening done in time to get the diagnosis before it is too late. Also, with time there have been improvements made regarding the treatment and the diagnosis of sickle cell anemia in the modern time. It has been made necessary now to get tested for sickle cell disease when a baby is born.
Myth 4: People suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia are immune to Malaria
People suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia are often told by doctors that they cannot get infected from malaria. Now, this is something you don’t have to believe at any cost. This can impact the health pretty badly as taking anti-malarial drugs is not taken by people who follow this clueless statement by the doctors.
Never believe such myths as they can contribute to a higher mortality rate. Now on the other hand people who are suffering from sickle cell trait (HbAS) are at a lesser risk of getting affected by malaria. In this disease, a person gets one abnormal hemoglobin gene from one parent and one normal gene from the other parent.
But keep in mind, that people who get abnormal hemoglobin genes from both their parents and suffer from sickle cell anemia are affected by malaria and should get treated for it.
Myth 5: Sickle Cell Anemia and Sickle Cell Trait are the same
Well, Sickle Cell Anemia and Sickle Cell Trait are two different conditions. It is now known to everyone that Sickle Cell Trait is just having 1 abnormal hemoglobin gene from a parent and on the other hand people suffering from Sickle Cell Anemia have 2 of the abnormal hemoglobin genes inherited from both parents.
People who have Sickle Cell Trait don’t really experience the symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia. It is also suggested to get tested if you are someone who is suffering from Sickle Cell Trait. There are high chances to have babies with Sickle Cell Anemia if both the parents are Sickle Cell Traits.
Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited condition and it is often misunderstood because of the misconceptions being spread by people online and in real life. So, make sure you do your proper research before you dive into believing all the information on the internet.