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When does pain happen in people with sickle cell disease?

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Pain is a common problem for people with the disease. It happens when the sickle-shaped red blood cells that cause the condition get stuck in small blood vessels and block blood flow. That can cause a pain episode or crisis to start suddenly, usually in the lower back, arms, legs, chest, and belly. For others, health problems from sickle cell disease can cause pain that lasts longer and become chronic. Controlling pain associated with sickle cell can be difficult and could affect your mental health, causing stress and depression.

But no matter the type of sickle cell pain you have, there are many options that can help you find relief. Talk to your doctor.

SOURCES:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Sickle Cell Disease.”

CDC: “Sickle Cell Disease - Complications and Treatments.”

Pediatric Blood and Cancer : “Impact of individualized pain plan on the emergency management of children with sickle cell disease.”

Current Opinions in Hematology : “Acute pain in children and adults with sickle cell disease: management in the absence of evidence-based guidelines.”

American Family Physician : “Management of Sickle Cell Disease: Recommendations from the 2014 Expert Panel Report.”

News release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA approves hydroxyurea for treatment of pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia.”

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine: “Management of pain in sickle-cell disease.”

Blood: “Evolution of Chronic Pain in Sickle Cell Disease.”

Child Psychiatry and Human Development: “Symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents with sickle cell disease.”

Journal of the National Medical Association : “Health-Related Stigma in Young Adults With Sickle Cell Disease.”

British Journal of Haematologydisease: “Psychological complications in sickle cell .”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 11, 2020

SOURCES:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Sickle Cell Disease.”

CDC: “Sickle Cell Disease - Complications and Treatments.”

Pediatric Blood and Cancer : “Impact of individualized pain plan on the emergency management of children with sickle cell disease.”

Current Opinions in Hematology : “Acute pain in children and adults with sickle cell disease: management in the absence of evidence-based guidelines.”

American Family Physician : “Management of Sickle Cell Disease: Recommendations from the 2014 Expert Panel Report.”

News release, U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA approves hydroxyurea for treatment of pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia.”

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine: “Management of pain in sickle-cell disease.”

Blood: “Evolution of Chronic Pain in Sickle Cell Disease.”

Child Psychiatry and Human Development: “Symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents with sickle cell disease.”

Journal of the National Medical Association : “Health-Related Stigma in Young Adults With Sickle Cell Disease.”

British Journal of Haematologydisease: “Psychological complications in sickle cell .”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 11, 2020

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How can you manage a pain crisis in sickle cell disease?

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