Thursday, January 15, 2009
In people with Sickle Cell Disease their red blood cells are dehydrated (they are thirsty for water). These cells are thirsty each and every day. Just imagine living in the Sahara desert and there is nothing but sand. Eventually, you will die of thirst, and you will die quickly. Well, that’s what happens to our red blood cells. They need water….everyday.
Dehydration in red blood cells, (according to American Society of Hematology) is due to increased loss of potassium, chloride, and water. (Yes, momma says “eat those bananas for their potassium too!!!”) By keeping hydration (water) in red blood cells they can survive longer. With longer surviving red blood cells in our body we will have more red blood cells (sickled or not) available for our beautiful bodies to use.
There has been research in trying to hydrate red blood cells with medication (US Institute of Health clinical trial), but this research has not fully been successful.
There is hope, however, that we can do our part by DRINKING MORE WATER, and we can wait for researchers to do their part. This is one more bit of information that our doctors don’t tell us. Why we need water? Now, I’m thirsty!