What conditions can cause severe pain (sickle cell disease crisis)?

One of the biggest challenges posed by SCD is the unpredictable nature of pain and the wide-ranging severity of health problems due to the condition. Some people with SCD may have infrequent problems with pain, whereas others experiencing pain may require hospitalization.

Certain factors are more likely to trigger a painful sickle cell crisis:

  1. Infections
  2. Cold and/or damp conditions
  3. Air pollution
  4. Dehydration
  5. Extreme physical activity
  6. Stress
  7. Sudden changes in temperature
  8. Use of alcohol or caffeine
  9. Smoking


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