A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Sickle Cell Disease
I had a question the other day about sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease changes normal, round red blood cells into cells that can be shaped like crescent moons.
The name “sickle cell” comes from the crescent shape of the cells.
Normal red blood cells move easily through your blood vessels, taking oxygen to every part of your body.
But sickle cells can get stuck and block blood vessels, which stops the oxygen from getting through.
That can cause a lot of pain.
It can also harm organs, muscles, and bones.
Having sickle cell disease means a lifelong battle against the health problems it can cause, such as pain, infections, anemia, and stroke.
But many people are able to have a very good quality of life by learning to manage the disease.
Sickle cell disease is inherited, which means it’s passed from parent to child.
To get sickle cell disease, a child has to inherit two sickle cell genes—one from each parent.
When a child inherits the gene from just one parent, that child has sickle cell trait.
Having this trait means you don’t have the disease but you’re a carrier and could pass the gene on to your children.
Painful events (sickle cell crises) are the most common symptom of sickle cell disease.
They’re periods of pain that happen when sickle cells get stuck in blood vessels and block the blood flow.
These events usually cause pain in the hands, feet, belly, back, or chest.
The pain may last for hours or for days.
People with sickle cell disease often have anemia, caused by a shortage of red blood cells.
Anemia makes you feel weak and tired.
People with sickle cell anemia may look pale or washed out.
Their skin and the whites of their eyes may have a yellowish look.
A simple blood test can show whether a person has sickle cell disease.
Most states test for sickle cell disease before infants go home from the hospital.
To deal with sickle cell disease it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Alfalfa, bilberry, cherry, dandelion, grape skins, hawthorn berry, mullein, nettle, Oregon grape root, pau d’arco, red raspberry, shepherd’s purse, and yellow dock are good for anemia. (Don’t take Oregon grape root during pregnancy.)
*Include the following in your diet: apples, apricots, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, egg yolks, kelp, leafy greens, okra, parsley, peas, plums, prunes, purple grapes, raisins, rice bran, squash, turnip greens, whole grains, and yams. Also eat foods high in vitamin C.
*Consume at least 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses twice daily (for a child, use 1 teaspoon in a glass of milk or formula twice daily).
*Eat in moderation or avoid altogether almonds, cashews, chocolate, cocoa, kale, rhubarb, soda, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard, and most nuts and beans.
*Avoid beer, candy bars, dairy products, ice cream, soft drinks, coffee, and tea.
*Don’t eat foods high in iron and/or iron supplements at the same time as fiber. Avoid using bran as a source of fiber.
*Don’t smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke.
*Minimize your exposure to lead and other toxic metals.
*Increase exercise and movement as much as possible.
*Increase stress and relaxation techniques: yoga, meditation, prayer, deep breathing, etc. Consider energy medicine.
*Address emotional connections.
*Increase fresh air, sunshine, connect with nature.
*Decrease toxic exposures of all kinds (food and environmental).
*Understand your medications and possible side effects.
*Eliminate MSG and all artificial sweeteners as they are neurotoxins.
*Decrease processed meats, deli meats (nitrates).
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