Laycon, a housemate at the ongoing Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija) reality TV, has become the subject of heated discussion since he revealed that his genotype is sickle cell (SC).
Most comments on the issue have been bordering on what hemoglobin SC disease is and its similarity and difference with hemoglobin SS disease as well as symptoms.
Here’s what we know about the genotype.
What is SC?
Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease of the red blood cells (RBCs) in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body of those who suffer the condition.
Sickle Hemoglobin-C Disease (SC) is the second most common type of sickle cell disease.
According to the Sickle Cell Association of the National Capital Area (SCANCA), “individuals with Sickle Hemoglobin-C Disease (SC) have a slightly different substitution in their beta globin genes that produces both hemoglobin C and hemoglobin S.”
What are the symptoms of SC?
There are various symptoms of hemoglobin SC disease. However, the common symptoms among them include anaemia, frequent fatigue and extreme pain.
The severity of the hemoglobin SC disease, however, varies from one person to another.
What is the difference between SS and SC?
Hemoglobin SC disease can be inherited the same way SS gene can be contracted genetically. People with the disease usually inherit the hemoglobin S from one parent and C from the other.
Both SS and SC have similar symptoms. However, the severity of the anaemia among people with Hb SC is lesser than that of those with Hb SS.
Those with SC are usually warned against marrying people with SS or AS genotype.
Causes of SC?
Hemoglobin SC disease is caused by mutations in the gene which usually dictate to our bodies how to make hemoglobin.
These mutations cause changes in the shape of the red blood cells.
How to manage the disease?
Hemoglobin SC is not a death sentence for those who have it if properly managed.
In the first place, people affected by hemoglobin SC disease need to be especially careful to avoid infection.
They also need to be checked regularly by doctors to make sure all of the organs in the body are functioning properly.
Blood transfusion may be needed for those with hemoglobin SC when anaemia becomes severe.
In the same vein, bone marrow transplant may also be recommended depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Eating an adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole-wheat grains, exercising regularly and drinking more water would help reduce the chances of sickle cell crisis.
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