According to recent studies, Blacks have shown a higher risk for sickle cell disease than any other ethnicity. The sickle cell trait is even more common than the disease itself as 1 in 13 babies are born with it. Typically, people with the trait don’t have the distinctive symptoms of the disease but that isn’t always the case. Under certain conditions, people with the sickle cell trait can experience symptoms that can disrupt their lives. Here are five signs you need to know.
1. Blood in the urine
People with the sickle cell trait can have blood in their urine with no obvious signs of provocation. In any case, seeing blood when you use the restroom is not normal and should never be ignored.
Even if you don’t have the trait, there may be another underlying cause that you need to know about.
2. Sudden, unexplained pain
Under specific circumstances such as severe dehydration, excessive exercise, and high altitude, your regular red blood cells can become deformed.
At that point, the cells can be as sickle-shaped as someone with the disease. As the deformed blood cells stick together or block your blood vessels, you may experience unexplained pain throughout your body.
3. Difficulty breathing
Another symptom that can be set off by being at a high altitude is having trouble breathing. At high altitudes, the air is thinner and you won’t have as much oxygen available as you normally would.
Typically, people without a sickle cell trait can adjust to change in the environment. Those with the trait, however, may not adjust and have a harder time breathing.
4. Significant pressure behind the eyes
In some cases, people with the sickle cell trait can experience a lot of pressure behind their eyes if their bodies are under stress. The pressure is similar to that described by those who have glaucoma. Bear in mind that this kind of pressure could indicate the presence of