What is Sickle Cell Trait?
One sickle haemoglobin-producing gene inherited from one parent and one normal haemoglobin gene inherited from the other parent make up the sickle cell trait. Type A haemoglobin is described as normal. Sickle haemoglobin called S. Sickle Cell trait is the presence of haemoglobin AS on the haemoglobin electrophoresis. It will not result in sickle cell disease. Another prevalent haemoglobin characteristic is AE, followed by AC.
Sickle Cell trait carriers can pass the trait on to their children.
If one of the parents passes the sickle cell gene to the child, there is a 50% (or 1 in 2) chance that the child will also have SCT. These children won’t show signs of SCD, but they can pass on SCT to their children. There is a 25% probability that a baby of theirs will develop SCD if both parents have SCT. The likelihood that the infant will not develop SCD or SCT is also 25%, or 1 in 4.
People with sickle cell trait typically don’t exhibit any symptoms since their blood cells don’t “sickle” because they have enough normal haemoglobin. In the majority of cases, people with SCT can lead normal lives, albeit there are extreme circumstances that might produce symptoms resembling those of SCD. Which are:
- Low oxygen levels, such as those experienced during intense exercise
- high altitude activities, such as mountain climbing
- a rise in atmospheric pressure, such as under water
This means that individuals with SCT need to exercise caution if they are athletes or participate in activities which require them to be in high altitudes in environments with elevated air pressure. Additionally, they must take care to stay hydrated, especially when exercising, travelling to hot regions, or participating in sports.
When engaging in vigorous exercise or sports, certain patients with SCT may be more susceptible to heat stroke, muscular breakdown, a decreased blood flow to the spleen, or glaucoma, (What is Sickle Cell Trait? | CDC) and (Sickle Cell Trait – Hematology.org).
Renal medullary carcinoma, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects young, adolescent boys, is associated with SCT, despite the fact that the majority of those who have it live normal lives.
People with SCT can get screened to help them make informed choices about things like having children and who they want to have children with.