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Sickle cell in the blood

Acetaminophen: a pain reliever used to treat mild to moderate pain, moderate to severe pain alongside opioids, or to reduce fever. Acetaminophen is available over-the-counter, meaning it doesn’t require a prescription.

Acute: used to describe a disease that is of a short duration, typically less than 3 months.

Anemia: a reduction in the number of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues, so the lack of red blood cells and oxygen delivery can cause dizziness, weakness and fatigue.

Aplastic Crisis: happens when your body suddenly stops making new red blood cells triggering a potentially life-threatening Anemia.

Aspirin: a drug that reduces the clumping of platelets; platelets are tiny cell fragments in the blood that are important in blood clotting. Aspirin is sometimes recommended for people with lupus during pregnancy (at the end of the first trimester), antiphospholipid syndrome, or to help reduce risk of recurrent heart disease or stroke.

Avascular Necrosis: the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. It can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and cause the bone to collapse.

Bacteremia: the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream. Basal Metabolic Rate: this is the amount of energy your body uses while at rest to keep vital functions going such as breathing and maintaining body temperature.

Bilirubin: a yellowish pigment that is made during the breakdown of red blood cells. This typically is processed in the liver and eventually leaves the body, however, higher than normal levels could indicate liver or bile duct problems.

Biopsy: this is a procedure that takes a sample of cells from your body to be tested in a laboratory or visualized under a microscope to help identify a diagnosis.

Body Mass Index: a value that takes into consideration the height and weight of a person to approximate if someone is at a healthy weight. A healthy BMI is typically between 18.5 and 24.9 according to the CDC.

Cardiologist: a doctor is specializing in treating and diagnosing diseases of the heart. Becoming a cardiologist involves 4 years of medical school and 6-8 years of training in internal medicine and cardiology.

Case Manager: healthcare professionals who serve as a patient advocate. They provide support, guide, and coordinate care for patients, families and caregivers.

Chiropractor: a form of alternative medicine that uses physical manipulation to treat misalignments of the joints. Chronic: a health condition or disease that is persistent long term, typically more than 3 months.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): a long-term disease of the kidneys that doesn’t allow them to filter waste and excess fluid from the blood properly.

Clinical trial: a type of research study that tests new medical treatments to determine how well they work in comparison to the current treatments used. Clinical trials give evidence to help patients and doctors weigh risks and benefits of treatment decisions.

Complete blood count (CBC): this is a common blood test that is often part of a routine checkup. It counts the 3 types of cells that make up your blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It can detect disorders like anemia, infection, and leukemia.

Contraception: refers to any methods used to prevent pregnancy. Counselor: a person trained to give guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems.

Crizanlizumab: this is a drug used to reduce the frequency of vaso-occlusive crises in people aged 16 years or older who have sickle cell anemia. Sold under the brand name Adakveo and Ryverna.

CT scan: CT stands for Computed Tomography. This is an imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-ray technology and computer technology to create images of the inside of your body. It can be used to see bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels.

Cytokine: this is a protein that is important for controlling the growth and activity of immune system cells and blood cells.

Dactylitis: when an entire finger or toe swells, this can be either acute or chronic.

Dialysis: a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly.

Echocardiogram (echo): this is an imaging test that uses ultrasound technology to check the structures of the heart (such as the chambers, pericardium or lining around the heart, and valves) and assess how well the heart is pumping blood.

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): this test measures the electrical signal of the heart that controls the heartbeat and can show details about how the heart is functioning.

Erectile Dysfunction: difficulty getting and keeping an erection.

Erythema: a term to describe redness. It is often used to describe the skin when there is a rash or swelling.

Fatigue: used to describe a feeling of being tired or weak, and can be physical or mental.

Fever: a fever refers to having a higher-than-normal body temperature. Most commonly, fever is caused by an infection. Less commonly, fever may be a symptom of autoimmune disease.

Fibromyalgia: a condition that causes pain all over the body, sleep problems, fatigue, and often causes cognitive dysfunction and emotional distress as a result of these symptoms.

FMLA: FMLA stands for the Family and Medical Leave Act. The FMLA provides certain protections for employees to be able to take unpaid leave for medical reasons or caregiving needs.

Folic Acid: an important acid in the formation of red blood cells and for healthy cell growth and function. It can be used to treat certain types of anemia.

Gallbladder: An organ found in the upper right section of the belly that is responsible for making bile, a substance that helps the body break down fat.

Gallstones: When there is an imbalance of substances in the body, this can cause hard deposits or “stones” to form in the gallbladder. These stones can cause blockages and cause severe pain and possibly infection.

Genetics: this is the scientific study of genes and heredity. Heredity refers to the passing down of traits from parents to their offspring.

Heart Attack: usually occurs when there is a blood clot that is blocking the flow of blood to the heart. The lack of blood leads to a lack of oxygen that causes tissue death.

Hematocrit: this is a test used to measure the volume percentage of red blood cells in the blood. Having too few or too many red blood cells can be a sign of different diseases.

Hematologist: a doctor who specializes in treating disorders related to your blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic system.

Hemoglobin: this is the protein in your red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen and delivering it to organs. It also transports carbon dioxide from your organs to your lungs to be released when you exhale.

Hepatitis C: a form of viral hepatitis that is transmitted in infected blood, causing chronic liver disease.

Hydroxyurea: used to prevent painful episodes and reduce the need for blood transfusions in patients with sickle cell anemia. Hypertension: high blood pressure for extended periods of time.

Hypotension: low blood pressure.

Ibuprofen: used to treat fever and mild to severe pain.

Infection: the presence of a virus, bacteria, or other foreign agent in the body.

Inflammation: a condition where part of the body becomes red, swollen, hot, and can often hurt after an injury or an infection. In autoimmune disease, an overactive immune system can attack parts of the body to cause inflammation and tissue injury.

Inpatient: a patient that has to stay in the hospital while under treatment or after a procedure.

Insomnia: inability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.

Jaundice: a medical condition that is characterized by yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. This is typically caused due to an excess of bilirubin which could indicate a problem with the bile ducts, liver disease, or excessive breakdown of red blood cells.

Kidney: two bean-shaped organs that are located just below the rib cage on each side of the spine. Kidneys filter wastes and extra water from your blood to make urine.

Liver: The liver processes blood leaving the stomach and intestines and breaks down nutrients. The liver is also known to metabolize drugs into forms that the body can use.

Meningitis: inflammation in the brain and spinal cord caused be a viral or bacterial infection. Symptoms include intense headache and fever, light sensitivity, and rigid muscles.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): an imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create images of the organs and tissues in your body.

Nephrologist: a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing treating diseases of the kidney.

Neurologist: a medical doctor who specializes in treating and diagnosing disorders related to brain function.

Occupational therapy: a form of therapy used to assess and improve physical function. Therapists assess physical function and assist patients with finding ways to complete every day activities through strengthening, support and environmental adaptation.

Ophthalmologist: a medical doctor who specializes in treating and diagnosing disorders in the eyes.

Osteoporosis: a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of vitamin D or calcium.

Outpatient: a patient who seen by healthcare workers in the clinic or office setting and is not hospitalized overnight.

Patient Advocate: a person who helps guide a patient through the healthcare system. Patient advocates may also help patients set up appointments for doctor visits and medical tests and get financial, legal, and social support.

Phlebotomy: using a needle inserted into a vein to draw blood. Physical Therapist: A professional who specializes in helping people improve or regain movement, manage pain and improve strength and stability.

Physical therapy: therapy to help people improve movement and manage pain through exercise.

Pneumonia: An infection of the lung. Symptoms include cough, fever, and may or may not have mucus production.

Priapism: Painful erection of the penis that lasts 4 hours or more. This is an emergency that should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Psychiatrist: Doctor who specializes in mental health who can provide counseling and prescribe medications.

Psychologist: Professional who focuses on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering with behavioral interventions.

Pulmonologist: Doctor who specializes in treatment of the lungs and airway.

Respiratory Therapist: Professional who work with doctors to treat breathing issues. They help manage ventilators, oxygen and administer medications.

Scar: composed of fibrous tissue that the body uses to heal and replace lost or damaged skin.

Self-management: behaviors that help promote health and manage disease symptoms, such as exercise, diet, education about symptoms.

Seizure: Abnormal and uncontrolled activity in the brain that can cause a change in behavior, movement and consciousness.

Social Worker: Professionals who help individuals in a wide variety of settings to make sure they have access to the correct resources.

Speech Language Pathologist: Communication professional who helps evaluate, diagnose and treat communication disorders, voice disorders, and swallowing disorders across the lifespan.

Splenic Sequestration: When too many red blood cells get stuck in the spleen. This usually happens to infants and children with sickle cell disease and is an emergency.

Stroke: Occurs when the brain loses blood supply. In individuals with sickle cell disease this usually is due to blockage. A stroke can be identified by using the acronym FAST: Face (ask person to smile and look for drooping smile), Arms (ask person to raise both hands and see if one can’t go up), Speech (ask person to repeat phrase and hear if their speech slurred), Time (if you see any of these signs, call 9-1-1 right away)

Swelling: the enlargement of the tissue of organs, skin, or other body parts caused by a buildup of fluid.

Toxicity: the degree to which something is poisonous.

Transcranial Doppler: Device used to measure the speed of blood flow in the blood vessels of the brain.

Transfusion: The process of adding volume back to your blood. Some of the most common transfusions include saline (water with salt), crystalloid (water with electrolytes), and blood.

Ultrasound: an imaging technique that uses sound waves to visualize structures within the body.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): An infection of the urinary tract, which includes the bladder and the urethra, which allows for emptying of the bladder. Symptoms of an infection include pain or burning with urination, blood in the urine, or a strong urge to urinate that doesn’t go away.

Vaccinations: a treatment given to produce immunity against a disease without getting the disease.

Vaso-occlusive crisis: A pain episode that commonly occurs in individuals with Sickle Cell Disease. When sickled red blood cells stop blood flow, it results in severe pain. This can occur anywhere in the body and there is often no warning for these episodes.

Voxelotor: A tablet medication used for the treatment of Sickle Cell disease. It works by helping hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells) hold onto more oxygen and to stop red blood cells from becoming misshapen.

Xray: a high energy wave used to take images of the body and can be used to diagnose conditions.

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