Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease
Symptoms of sickle cell disease appear in a baby's first year of life.
The disease causes periods of pain called pain crises. Symptoms depend on which tissues or organs are affected.
Symptoms may be:
- Swollen hands and feet
- Pain in the:
- Arms and legs
- Bones and joints
- Penis—from long erections
- Symptoms of anemia, such as:
- Tiredness, headache, or lightheadedness
- Breathing problems
- jaundice—yellowing of the eyes and skin
Sickle cell disease can lead to other issues, such as:
- Heart and blood vessel problems, such as:
- Skin and gum problems
- Vision problems
- Kidney infections and kidney damage
- Bone problems
- Problems with the spleen, liver, or gallbladder
- Delayed puberty
- Learning and behavioral problems
Pain crisis can be triggered by:
- Changes in oxygen levels and air pressure
- Fever or infection
- Pinto VM, Balocco M, et al. Sickle cell disease: a review for the internist. Intern Emerg Med. 2019;14(7):1051-1064.
- Sickle cell disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/index.html.
- Sickle cell disease. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sickle-cell-anemia.html.
- Sickle cell disease in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sickle-cell-disease-in-adults-and-adolescents.
- Sickle cell disease in infants and children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sickle-cell-disease-in-infants-and-children
- What is sickle cell disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sickle-cell-disease.
- Kari Kuenn, MD
(C) Copyright 2022 EBSCO Information Services
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com.