What are the Signs & Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia?

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 in

  • Severe pain in bones, muscles, or the abdomen that can last for days or weeks (called painful crisis).
  • Fatigue, paleness, and shortness of breath. All are symptoms of anemia, or a shortage of red blood cells.
  • Pain that occurs unpredictably in any body organ or joint. 
  • Vision problems or blindness when the retina (back of the eye that receives visual images) fails to receive the nourishment it needs from circulating red blood cells.
  • Yellowing of skin and eyes, caused by liver malfunction (jaundice).
  • Delayed growth and puberty in children and a slight build in adults.
  • Higher vulnerability to infections.
  • Narrowed or blocked small blood vessels in the brain, which can cause damage to parts of the brain (stroke).
  • Complications caused by infection or trapped sickle cells in the lung, called acute chest syndrome.