Symptoms of sickle cell anemia include jaundice (when the skin or whites of the eyes turn yellow), abdominal or chest pain, and frequent infection. Swollen hands and feet are often a result of the blocked blood flow. Anemia is also a common symptom because the number of red blood cells is often too low, resulting in low oxygen level. A deficiency in oxygen can result in vision problems, stunted growth, or fatigue.
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Painful events (sickle cell crises) in the hands or feet, belly, back or chest are the most common symptom of sickle cell disease. This pain may last from hours to days. Most people with sickle cell disease also get anemia.
When a child is born with sickle cell disease, it isn't possible to predict which symptoms will appear, when they will start or how bad they will be.
Symptoms related to chronic anemia
Most people who have sickle cell disease have at least mild symptoms of chronic anemia, which may include:
- Tiredness (fatigue).
- Pale appearance.
- Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice).
- Shortness of breath, especially when they are active.
Severe anemia may raise the chance of a person with sickle cell disease getting high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension). This can be deadly.
Symptoms caused by sickle cell crisis
Painful sickle cell crisis symptoms are caused by blocked blood vessels in bones, organs and other tissues. This can cause extreme pain for hours or days. These painful events can occur rarely to often. Sometimes home treatment can help the pain. And sometimes a hospital stay is needed.
Infants and young children may have episodes of extreme pain in the hands, the feet or both (hand-foot syndrome).
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The signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease (SCD) are caused by abnormally shaped (sickled) red blood cells. These sickled red blood cells may break down or die prematurely, resulting in a shortage of red blood cells (anemia).
The symptoms of SCD often begin during early childhood. The severity of the symptoms may vary, ranging from mild to serious.
Because anemia causes decreased oxygen in the blood, symptoms may include fatigue and shortness of breath. Anemia may also increase the risk of infections and may delay growth in children.
Individuals with SCD may experience painful episodes when the abnormally shaped red blood cells become occluded (stuck) in small blood vessels. This may result in decreased oxygen in the blood, and serious damage can result when organs and tissues are deprived of oxygen.SCD may also cause jaundice, indicated by a yellowing of the eyes and skin. In SCD, jaundice is caused by the rapid breakdown of red blood cells.
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The symptoms of sickle-cell disease include abdominal pain, bone pain, shortness of breath, delayed growth, fatigue, fever, and chest pain. These symptoms usually do not start until 4 months of age. Almost all patients with sickle-cell anemia have "pain crises," which can last from hours to days and affect the spine, long bones, and the chest. Crises can be severe enough to warrant hospitalization. The severity and number of episodes can vary from person to person and from crises to crises.