Sickle cell anemia can be managed by avoiding any activities that may trigger an emergency, such as illnesses, any high-altitude activities, or strenuous exercise. You can also manage your stress level, avoid cholesterol, and drink a lot of water to help prevent blood clots and other complications. Over the counter medications can also be used to control the pain caused by compression of smaller blood vessels. Folic acid supplements can also help your bone marrow create red blood cells.
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Home treatment for sickle cell disease includes steps to control pain and prevent complications of the disease. If you don't already have a home treatment plan, ask your doctor to help you make one. Use this plan whenever symptoms are present. Your plan may include tips for:
- Managing pain.
- Home treatment for prolonged erection of the penis (priapism).
- Staying healthy.
- Coping with stress and worry.
- Making arrangements with teachers or a tutor to help your child keep pace with classmates when illness causes absences from school.
- Explaining to teachers that children with sickle cell disease may need to use the bathroom more often than other kids. They also need more water than the other students. Not drinking enough water can raise the chance of a sickle cell crisis.
- Educating teachers and other school employees about the signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease that need urgent medical care. Written instructions will help school personnel know what to do and who to call in an emergency.
Children with sickle cell disease can usually exercise and play normally if they:
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise. Lack of fluids ( dehydration ) can cause cells to sickle.
- Get regular rest breaks during vigorous exercise.
- Stay warm. Exposure to cold air, wind and water can trigger a sickle cell crisis. Dress children in warm layers of clothing for cold-weather activities. Your child should avoid swimming and playing in cold water.
Folic acid supplements are often a necessary part of the diet for people with sickle cell disease, particularly if you aren't eating enough folate-rich leafy vegetables (such as spinach).
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