World Sickle Cell Day 2020: How You Can Live Better With This Condition

According to the World Health Organisation, sickle cell disease affects millions of people around the world. It may strike both adults and children. This is a potentially fatal disease and one of the main causes of premature death among children below the age of five in many African countries.

This is an inherited disorder where the shape of red blood cells turn to C-shaped sickles. This induces the cells to get stuck in blood vessels and block them. There is no cure for this condition.

Today, on the occasion of World Sickle Cell Day, let us see how you can live with this disease on a daily basis.

World Sickle Cell Day is a United Nations designated day that seeks to create awareness about this condition. On 22nd December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognised sickle cell disease as a public health problem and “one of the world’s foremost genetic diseases.”

ALSO READ: 20 Per Cent Of Nigerian Children Living With Sickle Cell-Report

Since then, every year, World Sickle Cell Day is observed around the world on June 19.

If you suffer from sickle cell disease, you can still live a normal and active life as most other people. However, you need to make some smart lifestyle choices to prevent the condition from flaring into a pain crisis or a sickle crisis, which happens because of the blockage.

Besides going for regular checkups, here are a few other things that you can do to deal with this condition on a daily basis.

Stay Hydrated

If you suffer from this condition, you need to ensure that you remain properly hydrated. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. Dehydration increases your risk of a sickle crisis. This is more important in summers when you can get easily dehydrated.

Get Enough Sleep

Be sure to sleep properly every night. Try going to bed at the same time and get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. This will help you sleep better. This will enable your body to handle as well as prevent flareups.

Plan Nutritious Meals

A well-balanced diet is essential for overall health. This becomes even more important if you have this condition. Include a lot of fresh fruits and veggies to your diet. Have whole grains and protein. Go easy on processed and fried foods.

Exercise Regularly

You need to take up some moderate exercises if you have this condition. But consult your doctor first regarding this. Just 2½ hours of moderate exercise a week is enough for you.

It will keep you fit and you will be better equipped to handle your condition. You can go for a walk or take up swimming. These are low-impact exercises that are good options.

Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

Go for regular checkups and take all your medication on time. It is also important that you stay up to date will all vaccines. This includes the annual flu shot as well as pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines.

This is because even common illnesses like the flu can sometimes be fatal if you suffer from sickle cell disease.

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