Sickle cell anemia is a disease of genetic imbalance, and this disorder results in the production of abnormal hemoglobin in body. The red blood cells in our body are responsible for supplying oxygen throughout our body but in case of this disorder, the oxygen supply gets stuck because the red blood cells become brittle and stick to each other in shape of a sickle. Improper supply of oxygen in our body can result in fatigue, vision problems, excess pain, jaundice, kidney problems, gall bladder stones, ulcer of leg, etc. There is no complete cure of this disease but certain home remedies and use of natural herbs along with the treatment can control the situation, but consult your doctor before you incorporate any such substitutes in your regime.
Diet plays an important role in fighting this disastrous disease. A balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits and vegetables is recommended in order to fight this disorder. Add a protein rich diet to your diet regime consisting of whole milk, dairy products, poultry, beans, meat, etc. and make sure that these products are of a standard quality and are not contaminated as patients of this disease cannot afford further infections. Consumption of high calorie foods like butter, cheese, peanut butter and a variety of whole grains, legumes and white breads should be favorable to the patients of sickle cell disease. Steer clear of fat free food and low calorie foods.
Blackstrap molases is derived from a plant source and is truly a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is a thick and sticky byproduct of sugar which can be added to milk, ginger bread, baked beans, etc. This is a good source of iron for people who are completely vegetarians. Black strap molases can replace sugar in cereals, jams, jellies and many other things. Molasis is also a rich source of calcium, potassium, vitamin B, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, inositol and vitamin E. So this mineral rich molases is very effective home remedy for treating sickle cell anemic condition but consult your doctor to determine the amount to be consumed.
Since weather extremities can be avoided but too much of cold and heat can increase the crisis. Patients of this disorder have more difficulty in staying warm due to the iron deficiency. They may experience chills and pain in cold weather. Sometimes they develop cold hands and feet even in moderate weather, so they need to incorporate warm clothing and other methods to keep themselves warm and increase their iron intake at such times. To avoid feeling excessively hot stay hydrated and wear comfortable cotton clothes so that your body can maintain an even temperature.
Sickle cell patients have fewer blood cells than a normal person, so the supply of oxygen in the body is restricted, making exercise regime more difficult. So the support of peer group and coaches is very important. If they notice any symptoms of breathlessness, muscle pain, fatigue, etc. should compel the patient to stop playing or exercising immediately. Patients of this disorder should not over do any physical activity and should take rests in between any exercising regime. Drinking plenty of water during and after any physical activity is recommended to keep the hydration level under control. Sickle cell patients should avoid swimming. Low impact exercises and physical activities like walking, yoga and breathing exercises are recommended to build strength.
Patients of sickle cell anemia should increase their fluid intake. It is recommended to have atleast 8 glasses of water everyday. Water or fluid intake reduce the chances of sickle cell formation by diluting the blood. Dehydration can worsen the sickle cell crisis. Water and fluids should be consumed within small intervals. Patients of sickle cell disease should carry their water bottle everywhere without fail. While exercising increase the water intake even more and stay indoors and hydrated in dry, hot and humid climates. An increased consumption of water can also reduce pain crisis during physical activity.
Nettle is a nutritious plant which contains iron, chlorophyll and vitamin C and is an wonderful herb in the treatment of sickle cell disease. The flower, roots and leaves hold medicinal content. Boil 3 to 4 tsp nettle leaves or roots and make a tea with deep flavor and aroma for treating sickle cell crisis. This herb is full of nutrients like calcium, folate, beta carotene, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, zinc and vitamin B. Do consult your doctor before you introduce this herb for the treatment of sickle cell disease.
Spirulina belongs to the category of algae. It is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. High content of iron present in spirulina herb makes it a good source to increase hemoglobin level in the body. This herb is considered to be an effective treatment of sickle cell disease but always take it as an alternate medicine. Spirulina is available in the form of powder, flakes and pills in the market but take it only on the recommendation of your doctor. The use of this natural medicine should be avoided by people suffering from lupus.
Garlic is a culinary spice, which is also popular for its traditional medicinal qualities. Garlic is used as an alternate medicine to treat sickle cell crisis. The clove of garlic are taken as a supplement for treating many disorders. Two cloves of garlic or 600 to 900 mg of garlic consumption is recommended for the patients of sickle cell disease. Kyolic garlic or the garlic extract has also been beneficial for reducing blood inclusions which are responsible for blood cell malformation. Take a consultation from your doctor bore ingesting garlic or garlic extract in your diet.
General remedial measures
Sickle cell anemia is a disorder of red blood cells and people suffering from this disease need lot of care and support from everybody around. The mild and moderate painful conditions of this disease can be taken care of, at home by taking prescribed medicines like acetaminophen, etc. For more severe pain, consult your doctor immediately. Take extra precaution while travelling to high altitudes as there is less oxygen in there and one may require supplemental oxygen like an oxygen mask. If a school going child is suffering from this disorder then it is necessary to make the concerned teachers, aware of the child’s needs and condition. Send written instructions in the child’s diary, like name and telephone no. of the doctor. Inform the teacher that your child may need to drink water at regular intervals and may need to go to the bathroom more frequently. Reduce stress by learning stress management techniques and avoid alcohol.