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Diagnosis and Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease

Do you know the symptoms of sickle cell disease? Dr. Rodgers explains how it is diagnosed and treated.

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Recently I told you about sickle cell disease. You may ask, “How is sickle cell disease diagnosed and treated?”

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

A simple blood test is used to diagnose sickle cell disease. In fact, testing for sickle cell is part of routine newborn screening tests in all states. Once diagnosed, your doctor may refer you to a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood disorders.

Signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease include anemia, which can make a person feel very tired or weak, episodes of pain, repeated infections, and other problems.

Medicines can help manage pain, and immunizations and antibiotics can help prevent infections. Today, people with sickle cell disease can live full lives and enjoy most of the activities that other people do.

For more information, follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov.

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