Growing up with sickle cell disease may seem like a never-ending battle. It can get rough, from constant blood transfusions to the overwhelming fatigue you feel daily. But, by the end of this article, you will have an idea of what to expect, along with some tips on fighting it.
At What Age Will You First Notice Sickle Cell?
Although sickle cell is present at birth, most infants will start to show symptoms around five or six months. Parents will notice that their children are slightly more swollen than usual, and their eyes show a hint of yellow, indicating jaundice.
Ouch! That can be hard for a newborn, but parents can act fast and make most of the pain instantly disappear. Doctors can introduce many forms of antibiotics and vaccinations to help fight the chronic disease.
Early detection is super important, so make sure your newborn gets all the tests run on them before you leave the hospital. In fact, if doctors catch the disease early, there is a 90% chance that sickle cell patients will live well into adulthood.
How does Sickle Cell Progress as You Get Older?
Teenage life is already hard enough with high school, puberty, and making friends, but now you have to add on a debilitating illness? If you thought you felt sleepy as a teen before, those with SCD experience more fatigue than the average adolescent child.
However, it doesn’t have to be like that as long as you keep your spirits up and eat healthily. Recent studies show that good health practices help those afflicted with the dreadful disease.
So go out there and join a tennis club or play pickup basketball if you don’t want to be the teenager who misses out on the fun years in your life. Don’t go too crazy, though, because you’ll need to save some of that fun for adulthood.
Speaking of adulthood, once you reach it, You’ll be able to do much more to fight off this chronic illness. With the freedoms you get as an adult, you’ll be able to afford better care, more blood transfusions, and qualify for government assistance.
The average Black American adult with sickle cell disease can expect more fatigue, jaundice, and swelling. That’s nothing you haven’t