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Health Tip: Living With Sickle Cell Disease

Help prevent a crisis

(HealthDay News) -- Sickle cell disease is characterized by abnormally shaped red blood cells. This can cause the cells to become lodged in blood vessels -- a painful result called a sickle cell crisis.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these recommendations to help prevent a sickle cell crisis:

  • Avoid alcohol or drink only very little, and don't smoke.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
  • Keep illnesses and health conditions, such as a simple infection or diseases such as diabetes, treated and under control.
  • Avoid stress whenever possible.
  • Make time to exercise -- but moderate exercise only.
  • Don't let yourself get too cold. Dress warmly in winter or when in air conditioning, and avoid swimming in cold water.
  • Talk to your doctor if you snore, or if you have sleep apnea.
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