All I knew about sickle cell disease from my days in clinical practice was that sickle cell was painful and predominantly impacted the Black community. And based on the demographic of the hospital and clinics I worked in, most providers treated patients as just drug-seeking for pain medications. Little did I know at the time, there were actually ways to help sickle cell patients way before they ever got to a sickle cell crisis.
Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that can be extremely painful, can cause anemia, can also cause an increase in infections, as well as inhibit growth in children. Not to mention the other serious complications that directly impact your heart health and other major organs in the body.
And as I eluded to above, there is a higher prevalence of sickle cell disease in the Black community. In the Black community, the sickle cell trait carrier frequency is relatively high. It is estimated that about 1 in 13 African Americans carry the trait. And if that isn’t attention-grabbing enough, in the United States, it’s estimated that approximately 1 in every 365 Black births will result in sickle cell disease. My mind is literally blown by that statistic!
So on this Wellness Wednesday, I chat with a fellow pharmacist, Dr. Lametra Scott, on how impactful supplements can be in the management of sickle cell disease. Not only is she a healthcare provider with expertise in the management of sickle cell disease, but she is also the mother of a sickle cell patient. As a result of her experience, she founded a nonprofit for people affected by sickle cell disease, Breaking the Sickle Cell Cycle. Her perspective is invaluable and I can’t wait for you to listen in on our discussion.
We cover the following macro- and micronutrients during our discussion and a whole lot more!
Protein (including specific amino acids)
Fats (including omega-3 fatty acids)
Vitamin B and E
It’s essential to recognize the impact of sickle cell disease on the Black community and address the disparities in healthcare and access to resources. Continued research, education, and support are crucial in improving the quality of life for both patients affected by sickle cell disease and their caregivers.