When you are someone living with sickle cell disease, there are times in your life you go through tremendous pain…unbearable pain. You want to do everything you can to avoid that pain, that crisis.
Your goal is to have a better lifestyle, and the way to do that is to minimize your crisis. According to Lewis L. Hsu, MD, PhD, Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago, pediatric hematologist, sickle patients can achieve their goal of minimal crisis is through a combination of medical treatment and lifestyle.
“When it comes to lifestyle, try to get enough liquids and not become dehydrated,” Dr. Hsu explains. “Get enough rest, and not get exhausted, and don’t overexert yourself with physical activity.” Dr. Hsu cautions that you don’t want to go from being a couch potato to deciding to do strenuous exercise. Increase your activity gradually.
Besides these vital lifestyle considerations, medicinal treatments are critical in maintaining a better lifestyle and managing your pain crisis.
One of the latest medicines for managing your pain is Adakveo (Crizanlizumab). It is an infusion given once a month to reduce the frequency of your pain crisis. It prevents blood blockage, inflammation, and pain by helping to maintain blood flow.
It was FDA approved in December 2019 for patients 16 and older and is now on the market. Talk to your doctor about how Adakveo can be a part of your current treatment.
Dr. Hsu continues to describe the lifestyle management, “Avoid extremes of too hot or too cold. Even chilling the skin with air conditioning or going into a cold swimming pool can trigger sickle cell pain.”
One crisis trigger that could possibly be the hardest to manage is