WHAT IS THE SICKE CELL DISORDER?
Sickle Cell is an ‘Anaemia’, there are many types of anaemias the more commonly known are General Anaemia, Thalassaemia, Leukaemia, Hypoglycaemia and the most common and fastest growing worldwide is Sickle Cell Anaemia.
Sickle Cell Anaemia is recognised as one of ‘if not’ the most serious of anaemias known. It is a life-threatening inherited blood disorder where the red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body, develop abnormally causing the extreme deprivation of Iron Fluorine, which can cause over 20 other diseases and conditions to manifest.
Under the heading of Sickle Cell Anaemia there are many types, such as Haemoglobin SS Disease, Haemoglobin SC Disease, Haemoglobin SB+ Beta Thalassaemia, Beta-Zero Thalassaemia, Haemoglobin D-Punjab plus others.
These Sickle Cell disorders affects mainly people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin, however it is manifest in people of all origin.
What causes sickle cell anaemia?
Sickle cell anaemia is caused by a mutation (an abnormal change) in the gene that instructs the body to produce haemoglobin, which is the red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood cells.
The sickle cell gene is inherited. To have sickle cell anaemia you would have inherited the defective gene from both parents. If you only inherit the gene from one parent, you have what is known as the Sickle Cell Trait. It is likely that your blood will contain some sickled cells, but you will be able to produce normal haemoglobin and will not usually experience extreme symptoms.
However, you would be a carrier of sickle cell anaemia therefore can pass the abnormal gene through to your children. In England, the official statistics remain recorded that about 250,000 people are thought to have the Sickle Cell Trait, with those of African-Caribbean origin primarily affected.
If a couple, both with Sickle Cell Trait are pregnant, there is a one in four chance in each pregnancy, that the child will be born with a form of Sickle Cell Anaemia. In the UK, all forms of the Sickle Cell disorders are most commonly seen in persons of African & Caribbean descent