Sickle cell anaemia is a condition where you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to provide adequate oxygen in your body. This form of anaemia is inherited and present at birth.
There is no cure for this condition but you can reduce your symptoms and prevent long-term complications due to sickle cell anaemia. If you are pregnant, you and your partner should consider getting tested for the sickle cell trait.
Tips to prevent sickle cell anaemia
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Smoking and consuming high amounts of alcohol can aggravate your sickle cell anaemia. You should try to avoid smoking tobacco or consuming alcohol.
- You should try to drink at least eight 12-ounce glasses of water a day, especially during warm weather. Staying hydrated will help to prevent oxygen loss and reduce your risk of dehydration.
- Maintain a healthy diet. You should have a diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. You should also eat a lot of whole grains to ensure you are getting vitamins and nutrients from your food.
- Also take a folic acid supplement, as your bone marrow needs folic acid and other vitamins to produce new red blood cells.
- Get enough rest every night. You should try to get sufficient rest, with at least eight hours of sleep a night. You may try creating a sleep schedule, where you go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
- Go for low-impact exercises. Individuals with the sickle cell trait or sickle cell anaemia should avoid high-impact exercises, such as running, jogging, or swimming. These exercises can cause the oxygen in the body to circulate at a high rate. Instead, go for low-impact exercises like light weight lifting and strength building exercises. This will allow you to maintain your strength without overexerting your body.
- Stay warm in cold areas. Individuals with sickle cell anaemia or the sickle cell trait may be at risk of they do not stay warm in cold areas, such as a cold room. Put on warm clothes when you are going outside in cold weather. You should also avoid swimming in cold water or very hot water, as extreme temperatures can increase your risk of sickle cell crisis.