Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Sickle cell: trait or disease

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: samrods
  • February 7, 2009
  • 11:22 PM

Hi!
My wife, with 25 years old, has a diagnosys of sickle cell trait, but...
In the country where I live, Portugal, sickle cell is very uncommon and doctors have litle knowledge os this condition.
She has analysis with levels of 36,5% on hemoglobin S, when regular levels are <0,1%. The doctor says she has only the sickle cell trait, and alpha talassemia trait, that is why she has symptoms of the disease.
Anyway, my wife has many symptoms of sickle cell disease like: she has leg pain crisis about twice a year, blood circulation problems, athsma (or is it acute chest syndrome???) fatigue and weakness. By the way, she also has a severe myopia and weak theets. Her iron levels are very low, then her doctor prescribes her iron supplies.

Her hematologist says her condition is "bizarre" but he says she does not have the disease. In the other hand, our family doctor and a french doctor in our health center said that it is very strange that she doen't have the disease since she has pain episodes on her legs, for instance.

Other question: may an acute chest syndrome be confused with athsma? Because her allergologist says she has athsma and she prescribes her symbicort, a corticoid.

I ask this once again: Is it possible that someone with the trait has 36% of hemoglobin S, and 64% of regular hemoglobin?
Please help us!
Thank you

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5 Replies:

  • Just to add more info:From her blood analysis: Her HGM level is 24,8% and her VGM is 74,8%. Hemglobin level is 12,9%. VPM is 12,4 fl and PDW is at 18,1 fl. Ferritin (iron) is at 18,6 ng/ml. Hemoglobin A: 64%. Hemoglobin S: 36,5%. Fetal hemoblobin: 0,90%. All other values appear to be normal.Thanks
    samrods 2 Replies
    • February 7, 2009
    • 11:49 PM
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  • Yes,her HgB S can be 36.5% with sickle cell trait.I Don't know what VGM stands for.Also, I need to know the range of normal in your lab for ferritin.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • February 8, 2009
    • 01:57 PM
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  • Hi!Her iron level is a bit bellow minimum reference levels. I don't have the analysis with me but I remember that.Sorry, I didn't mention before, she has beta thalassemia trait.Her hematologist says that her condition is explained because of her having both sickle cell trait and beta thalassemia trait. I've red yesterday in some internet sites that in some special conditions people with sickle cell trait may have most symptoms and conditions of people with the disease. In her case it must be that because she has a lot of matching symptoms: leg crisis, bad blood circulation, fatigue, weakness, eye problems, kidney pain, chest or athsma-like problems (yet to verify if it is really athsma or if it could be reelated to sickle cell trait, I don't know). She gets tired easily, ice or even cold water are defenitely forbidden in contact to her skin.You know, my point isn't to say that the doctor is wrong or something. My point is to really have a proper diagnosis and to see if some of the stuf that they prescribe her all the time may by not adequate, then shouldn't be prescribed. For instance: she gets iron supplies. Is is correct to take iron if she has thalassemia trait? Or else: is is ok to have a strong corticoid pump (symbicort) as if she is being treated for athsma? Is it athsma? or could it be anything sickle cell trait related?In my country this problem is not very common so we don't have any information nor advice.Thank you very much for your help.
    samrods 2 Replies
    • February 8, 2009
    • 03:38 PM
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  • I don't know why her iron levels are low,but that needs to be figured out.Next,it's true that under certain conditions aperson with sickle cell trait can have an attack.The Symbicort is O.K. but won't help if the lung problem is due to the trait.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • February 8, 2009
    • 04:46 PM
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  • I just read that thalassemia+sickle cell trait can act like sickle cell anemia,so there's your answer as to why she's having S.C.anemia symptoms.(I meant beta-thalassemia trait).
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies
    • February 8, 2009
    • 04:55 PM
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