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What causes pain from sickle cell disease?

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Pain is an unpredictable symptom of sickle cell disease. The deformed blood cells can get stuck in and block your blood vessels. When this happens, oxygen-rich blood cannot reach key organs and tissues. The result is a sudden pain attack, called a pain crisis. The pain may feel sharp, stabbing, intense, or throbbing. Some people with sickle cell disease say it’s worse than childbirth or the pain after surgery.

SOURCES:

National Human Genome Research Institute: “Learning About Sickle Cell Disease.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Sickle Cell Anemia,” “What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease?”

Mayo Clinic: “Sickle Cell Anemia.”

American Society of Hematology: “Sickle Cell Anemia.”

CDC: “Complications and Treatments.”

UpToDate: "Bone and Joint Complications in Sickle Cell Disease."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on June 23, 2019

SOURCES:

National Human Genome Research Institute: “Learning About Sickle Cell Disease.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Sickle Cell Anemia,” “What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease?”

Mayo Clinic: “Sickle Cell Anemia.”

American Society of Hematology: “Sickle Cell Anemia.”

CDC: “Complications and Treatments.”

UpToDate: "Bone and Joint Complications in Sickle Cell Disease."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on June 23, 2019

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