Symptoms of sickle cell disease include jaundice, painful inflammation of the hands and feet, leg ulcers and joint problems, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Individuals with sickle cell disease typically have anemia, which can cause tiredness, irritability, pale skin, dizziness and breathlessness, as well as delayed growth in children. Chronic pain and severe episodes of pain can also occur as a result of sickle cell disease.
The severe pain episodes can take place in almost any part of the body, but areas that are more prone to the occurrence of the pain include the limbs, lower back, chest and abdomen, explains the NHLBI. The causes of the pain episodes are often unknown, but stress, illness, dehydration, high altitudes and changes in temperature can play a part in triggering the episodes.
Individuals with sickle cell disease are susceptible to spleen damage, which increases their risk of bacterial infections, states the NHLBI. The disease can also damage the eye, resulting in problems with vision. Additionally, sickle cell disease interferes with kidney function, which can cause frequent urination or blood in the urine. The disease also provokes the formation of gallstones, which can lead to stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Other serious complications of sickle cell disease include liver damage, acute chest syndrome, pulmonary hypertension, heart disease and stroke.