Understanding Sickle Cell Inheritance

Summary: Sickle cell inheritance is a hereditary condition of blood disorder which is characterized mainly by chronic anemia and regular attacks of pain. The overall root cause of the problem involves hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to different body organs. Without healthy hemoglobin, red blood cells develop incorrectly. And once red blood cells developed unhealthy, oxygen does not flow continuously in the entire body.


Content: Every child has two copies of hemoglobin gene in every cell in their body. They get one from their father and one from their mother. The genes of every child will therefore depend on the genes carried both by his biological parents. Sickle cell inheritance is a hereditary condition where the child must have two copies of sickle hemoglobin in order to have that kind of disorder. Sickle hemoglobin is often shortened to S or Hbs. This is not an illness but simply illustrates that you carry the genes and may pass it to your children in the future. Sickle cell inheritance is an inherited disorder in which red blood cells are shaped like C or peculiarly shaped when judged against the standard red blood cells.
This abnormality can lead to serious pain, severe infections and chronic anemia and may even bring damages to different essential body organs. The severity and complications of sickle cell inheritance may vary depending on the sickle hemoglobin that has been inherited from the parents. Some people who have inherited this kind of disease are quite healthy but there are some who are hospitalized repeatedly. In present time, advancement in early treatment and diagnosis has helped newly born babies who have acquired this disease. They tend to live a normal, healthy and productive life as well.

Sickle cell inheritance is an inherited disorder which greatly affects hemoglobin, component of bone marrow which delivers oxygen to cells throughout the entire body. Usually, people with disorder have hemoglobin molecule normally known as hemoglobin S. This molecule can deform red blood cell into sickle or crescent like shape. Signs and symptoms of this disease usually begin in early childhood. Symptoms of sickle cell inheritance may include a very low number of red blood cells, frequent infection and regular attacks of pain. Severity of symptoms varies from one person to another. Some experiences mild symptoms while others need to be hospitalized.

These symptoms are brought about by the sickling of red blood cells, where they break down easily even if it’s not yet the proper time. This situation associated with sickle cell inheritance results to anemia and yellowing of the eyes and of the skin. When small blood vessels are being stuck by this sickled red blood cell, the flow of oxygen in the body is disrupted affecting major organs of the body most especially the lungs, kidney and the brain. There are even some case of sickle cell inheritance where pulmonary hypertension occur which often leads to heart failure.

Sickle cell inheritance is very common affecting millions of people most especially black Americans and black Africans.  This condition is inherited in a recessive manner where both genes of the parents in each cell have mutations. This disease is normally known as sickle cell anemia where there are no sufficient numbers of healthy red blood cells that carry enough oxygen in the entire body. Luckily, there are prescribed medicines available to combat symptoms of body pain, infections and yellowing of the skin problem.

How do people get sickle cell inheritance? This disease occurs in patients who possess abnormal hemoglobin which causes distorted blood cells. Sickle cell inheritance is a condition where the parents have the ability to pass on the disease to both male and female children. Sickle cell disease can be managed but cannot be cured. Over the counter medicines can lessen the pain that goes with it. In severe cases, Hydroxyurea is prescribed to prevent the need for blood transfusion.  Sickle cell inheritance can lead to serious complications. In general both children and adult with this kind of disorder is much prone to infections. It can also lead to stroke as defective hemoglobin damages the wall of normal red blood cells. Another life-threatening complication is acute chest syndrome characterized by chest pain and fever.

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