Diet is important in the lives of everyone. Humans, animals, birds and other living creatures. They provide us with energy, they help us fight diseases and they protect us from infections.
Our bodies extract this energy from the food we eat in the form of calories. Calories are the final form or format of food that the body can absolve to make the body operate or function properly. We can say they (i.e. calories) are to the body what fuel is to a motor vehicle.
In sickle cell persons, these calories are needed, in many or more quantities, than people who do not have the condition. Assuming that the amount of calories needed by someone without the condition is 6000k for the whole week, a person with the condition will need 9000k or more.
When they concentrate in class, when they run around playing, when they sit to analyze a concept, when they take a stroll, when they make love, when they watch television, when they argue a case, when they diagnose a condition, when the write an article, when they deliver an address and the myriad of activities, persons with the condition needed much energy, double energy (in the form of calories) to function normally.
What it means is that we have to eat often, munch on something often, drink something often and have double portions of the food nutrients that we need.
When the body suffers deprivation of these nutrients or calories, concentration lows down, dizziness is exponentially high, HB drastically falls, susceptibility to infection is high and it can be fatal.
The body, most times, go to the bone marrow to take up stored energy there to enable it to function. But should this “burrowing” go on for long and on very frequent occasions, the structural integrity of the bone marrow get compromised and when this happens several bone infections can occur.
So eat right, eat often and eat more because you need it. Should you decide to fast, you should be very careful and attentive to your internal body mechanism and respond appropriately.
Torgbui Sipho Michael is a person with sickle cell disease. He writes, on different subjects across different scope, and shares his time reading, volunteering at Maranatha Community School and offer teaching lessons to many students.
He is also a public speaker, motivational speaker and sickle cell advocate. He has written an over 250-page book on the condition of sickle cell disease, awaiting publication.
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