Sickle Cell Anemia is an inherited disease causing the body to make sickle-shaped red blood cells. The amount of the protein hemoglobin produced is also limited, reducing the flow of oxygen throughout the body.
Normal red blood cells are round and flexible and they move easily through blood vessels in the body. Sickle cells contain abnormal hemoglobin and develop into a sickle, or crescent shape. These cells stick to one another and block blood flow to limbs and organs, causing pain and other serious conditions, such as infection, swelling of the hands and feet, blindness, and strokes.
There is no cure for most people with sickle cell anemia, but many treatments are available to help with pain and symptoms.