Do you know the things to avoid because of your disease? Below are some common activities. Find out if you are able to participate in these activities and what to be mindful of when engaging in them.
Ride a roller coaster
Yes: You can ride a roller coaster safely, but be careful. Amusement rides can be jarring to the body. The rough movements could increase or trigger pain. If the weather is hot, be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Rest often while visiting an amusement park, as you will usually walk a lot.
Wear no coat in the winter
No: You must dress appropriately for weather changes. Temperature changes can trigger a crisis. Cold temperatures can cause narrowing of the blood vessels (vasoconstriction.) Hot temperatures can lead to lots of sweating and result in dehydration. Wearing layers is a good idea, because you can take clothes off or put them back on as needed.
Yes: But be careful. Swimming can be good exercise, but make sure the water is very warm. Cold water can trigger a crisis. Swim for no more than 20 minutes. Dry off completely to prevent getting cold.
Eat spicy food
Yes: There are no dietary limits. Drink plenty of water and eat a well-balanced diet of healthy foods.
Put ice on a bruise or sprain
No: Avoid ice. It can cause vasoconstriction and can trigger a crisis.
Study all night with no sleep
No: Sleep is needed for your health. Getting nine hours of sleep a night is suggested. If napping during the day, it may be hard to sleep at night.
Yes: Exercising is good. Just do not push yourself too hard, because over-activity can trigger a crisis. When exercising, drink plenty of water and take rest breaks.
Climb a mountain
No: You should not climb a mountain. At high attitudes there is less oxygen. This can trigger a crisis.
Fly on a plane
Yes: You can fly in an airplane, but you may need to take extra precautions if you require extra oxygen. Drink plenty of water, because the air is dry on the plane. Try to walk around. If you are planning to fly and wear oxygen, talk to your doctor first.
No: Smoking is bad for your health for many reasons. It is especially dangerous for people who have sickle cell disease, because smoking can promote sickling and increase the chance of a crisis.
Get a tattoo
No: Tattoos are not encouraged. But, if you choose to get a tattoo, do not get it below the knees. People who have sickle cell disease have a higher risk of leg ulcers.