X Buy Now
You have 0 item(s) in your cart Total
VIEW CART
Skip to content

Article: Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) | Sickle Cell Disorders | Anemia Treatment

Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) | Sickle Cell Disorders | Anemia Treatment

Sickle Cell Anaemia

Author

Dr. Veena Deo

Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) is a chronic condition primarily affecting individuals of African descent who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin-S. It is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells and episodic blocking of blood vessels due to the adherence of sickle cells to the vascular endothelium, leading to serious complications.

Epidemiology:

  • In tropical Africa, the heterozygote frequency is over 20%.
  • In black American populations, sickle cell trait has a frequency of 8%.

Pathogenesis:

  • Hemoglobin-S polymerizes when oxygenated, forming pseudocrystalline structures called 'tactoids', which distort the red cell membrane, resulting in characteristic sickle-shaped cells.
  • The distortion may become permanent, leading to 'irreversibly sickled' red cells. The concentration of sickle cell hemoglobin in the cell influences tactoid formation.

Symptoms:

  • Frequent infections, anemia, swollen hands and feet, delayed puberty, paleness, fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, leg ulcers, increased heart rate.
  • Precipitated by hypoxia, acidosis, dehydration, and infection.
  • Sickle cells shorten survival and plug vessels in the microcirculation, leading to acute syndromes called 'crises' and chronic organ damage.

General Information:

  • Patients have compensated for anaemia, usually around 60-80 g/L.
  • Vaccination against pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenza B, and Hepatitis B is recommended.
  • In Africa, few children with sickle cell anaemia survive to adulthood without medical attention. Even with standard care, approximately 15% die by age 20 and 50% by age 40.

Herbs to Treat Sickle Cell Anaemia:

  • Herbs rich in iron phosphate should be used.
  • Natural sources of iron include parsley, spinach, seaweed, kale, and spirulina.
  • Moderate iron sources include pumpkin, strawberries, and Oregon grapes.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Barley grass and wheat grass are advisable.
  • A combination of antioxidant herbs like Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) and Emblica officinalis (Indian gooseberry) is recommended.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements with fish oil are beneficial.
  • Stay hydrated with an adequate intake of fluids.
  • Folic acid supplements are advisable.
  • Avoid crowded places to reduce infection risk.
  • Henna may decrease the level of sickle-shaped cells.
  • Ensure access to oxygen during air travel.
  • Consume one clove of garlic daily.
  • A combination of Tulsi (Basil) and Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is beneficial.
  • Spirulina is rich in iron and other nutrients but consult a doctor before consumption.

Note:

Consult an Ayurvedic physician for guidance on the quantity of ingredients in natural home remedies before use.

Reference:

Treatment of Sickle Cell Disorders by Ayurvedic Medicine. Hemanta Kumar Panigrahi, Hemant Kushwa, Shyam Sunder Sharma, PMCID: PMC3331087