Every person living with Sickle Cell is different. However, children growing up with the disease should be taught how to try to manage the disease effectively. Today, I’m sharing some of the actions we take as a family to keep our daughter’s sickle cell anemia in check.
7 tips for managing sickle cell well
[highlight] Listen to a podcast from the CDC, Sickle Cell Disease: What You Should Know [/highlight]
1. Lots of hydration.
Drink as much fluids as you can before the day starts. Hydration helps to prevent red blood cells from sickling.
How much water is right for you? Download this Hydration Fact Sheet from Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
2. Lots of rest.
Avoiding stress and relaxing when tired is an important part to help keep a sickle cell patient healthy.
3. Eating well.
Eat foods rich in folic acid like green leafy vegetables.
Consider eating a vegetarian diet. Find yummy recipes from the top 50 vegetarian blogs by clicking on the picture below.
4. Avoid sugar.
Sugary sweets can break down you immune system
5. Wash your hands frequently.
Keeping your hands clean can help keep germs at bay.
Hand washing helps wash away germs that you may come in contact with. Patients with Sickle Cell can be vulnerable to colds, the flu, and other viruses so it is important to develop some health habits that will prevent illness
6. Get regular checkups and take medication as prescribed by your doctor.
Use technology to set reminders if you may forget, try to take your medicine at the same time each day as required by your physician.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Regular health checkups with a primary care doctor can help prevent some serious problems.
- Babies from birth to 1 year of age should see a doctor every 2 to 3 months.
- Children from 1 to 2 years of age should see a doctor at least every 3 months.
- Children and adults from 2 years of age or older should see a doctor at least once every year.
7. Live a healthy lifestyle.
Avoid stress, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and other risky behaviors.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that “The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells. They also can damage the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels.”
This is post number #23 in a series, check out all of the 30 Posts for Sickle Cell articles.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. cdc.gov. Stay Healthy with Sickle Cell Disease. http://www.cdc.gov/features/sicklecell/
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. nih.gov. How Does Smoking Affect the Heart and Blood Vessels? http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/smo/