Crescent Shaped Cells: Understanding Sickle Cell Anaemia

Updated at: Jun 18, 2018
Crescent Shaped Cells: Understanding Sickle Cell Anaemia

A normal red blood cell is usually disc shaped, but in case of sickle cell anaemia it will be in the shape of a sickle or crescent shaped. This can cause a lot of complications in your body.

Arka Roy Chowdhury
Blood DiseasesWritten by: Arka Roy ChowdhuryPublished at: Jun 18, 2018

Sickle cell anaemia is the abnormal development of the red blood cells in the human body. The disorder is inherited and should be taken seriously.

The red blood cells are disc shaped under normal conditions, and are flexible. When a person is suffering from sickle cell anaemia, the red blood cells change shape and become like a crescent, or which could also be seen as a sickle. The red blood cells in sickle cell anaemia are found to be usually very rigid and they contain defective haemoglobin. Haemolglobin is responsible for enabling the red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. The sickle cell anaemia disorder is something that is found mainly in people from Africa, the Carribean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin. 

Understanding the Crescent Shaped Cells

The sickle cell anaemia is a type of amaemia, and anaemia is the condition wherein your blood has a low red blood cell count. This can also happen when the red blood cells in your body do not have enough haemoglobin. Inside the larger bones of the body lies the red blood cells, and the marrow is responsible for making new red blood cells in order to replace the ones that are old. Red blood cells under normal situation lives for about 120 days in your bloodstream, while in the case of sickle cell anaemia it only lives for about 10 or 20 days. It is not possible for the bone marrow in the body of an affected person to make new blood cells fast enough so as to replace the ones that are dying. 

The Sickle Cell Anaemia is a disease which goes on for life is inherited; people are born with this disease. The two genes that they inherit for the sickle haemoglobin come from each parent. On the other hand when a person gets one sickle haemoglobin gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other, tend to have a condition which is known as sickle cell trait. People with sickle cell trait do not have the disease, but they can pass the sickle haemoglobin to their children.

How Can It be Cured?

Sadly there are no widely available cures for the disorder, but treatments are done in order to improve the anaemia and to lower the complications involved. This can help with the symptoms and all the associated complications of this disease in adults and as well as in children. Also bone and marrow stem cell transplants could be helpful in curing the sickle cell anaemia in people. Over the past years we have come to learn a lot about sickle cell anaemia, and we have learnt that it varies from person to person. Certain people tend to have chronic pain or they tend to feel tired. With care and treatment they can improve the quality of their life. 

People with sickle cell anaemia actually can extend their lifeline if they are cared for and are supplied with all possible treatments.

Read more articles on Anaemia.

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