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Sickle Cell Disease

Understanding Sickle Cell Disease vs. Sickle Cell Trait

There is a big difference between having a sickle cell related disease, and simply having the trait for sickle cell. Sickle cell disease means that you actively have sickle cells within your body, and have been impacted by a sickle cell disease. There are many diseases that are associated with sickle cell, with the most common being sickle cell anemia, sickle beta-plus thalassemia, sickle SC disease, and sickle beta-zero thalassemia. Any type of hemoglobin mutation of the genes, paired with sickle cell will result in sickle cell disease. It is important to properly identify your disease and work with a doctor to provide treatment and understand how to best manage your disease.

It is also entirely possible to have the sickle cell trait, or gene, without any signs of disease. Several people carry many traits, or genes, that are not actively apparent in they way they appear, function, or live. Genes help to determine factors about ourselves and are inherited from our parents, and often require a paired trait to make the trait or disease present in a person. In order to have a sickle cell disease, it is necessary to have two copies of the sickle cell gene, or trait, in your body. This means that if only one parent passes along the sickle cell trait, it is impossible to have the disease. However, be aware that by having the sickle cell trait, it is possible to pass the trait, as well as the disease, to your child if your partner has the disease or simply the trait as well.