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The signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease (SCD) vary. Some people have mild symptoms. Others have very severe symptoms that require hospitalization. Although SCD is present at birth, many babies don't show any signs until after 4 months of age. The most common signs and symptoms are anemia (low numbers of normal red blood cells) and repeated periods of pain.

Other signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease may include:

  • Fatigue (Tiredness)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Coldness in the hands and feet
  • Unusually pale skin
  • Chest pain
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (Jaundice)

Learn how transplant can treat SCD

MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2013 Sept 16; cited 2013 Sept 16]. Available from: