The signs and symptoms of sickle cell anemia are different in each person. Some people have very severe symptoms and are hospitalized for treatment.
When the red blood cells sickle and stick together in clumps a sickle cell crisis occurs. Sickle crises can cause acute or chronic pain. The general signs and symptoms of anemia are:
Acute pain is the most common type, and this sudden pain ranges from mild to very severe. Your acute sickle crisis pain may last hours to a few days.
On the other hand, chronic sickle crisis pain may last weeks to months. This long lasting chronic pain is hard to bear, mentally draining and severely affects daily life.
Almost all people with sickle cell anemia have painful crises at some point in their lives. Some may not have a crisis for over a year, while others have numerous each year.
The most common sites affected by sickle cell crises are the bones, lungs, abdomen, and joints. The blocked blood flow can cause pain and organ damage.
Many factors contribute to a sickle cell crisis. Some factors aren’t under a person’s control, such as an infection. Some factors are controllable, like maintaining hydration which often decreases the chance of a crisis.