For part of the world, summer has slipped to fall. The frigid temperatures of winter are just around the corner. Cold CAD conditions will be in full force. Working against those afflicted with the disease.
At the same time, sicknesses, viruses, the flu, and other threats are on the rise. They can work on a CADs health from yet another angle.
While CADs can sometimes coast through the warmer months of the year. The cooler and colder months can often plummet hemoglobin levels. Sometimes a slow slide. But often a CAD will get a wake up. A slap in the face. Resulting in a rapid Hgb decline type of episode. Sicknesses, or Cold Temperature exposures can often trigger such an episode. Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate what might be the trigger?
While preventive pharmaceuticals may be beneficial to some. They aren’t effective for others.
Preventative precautions may often times be just as effective. Or even better at keeping you healthy.
Preventative precautions are best practiced ALL the time, and year round. Keeping your body as healthy as possible at all times. Waiting until you are in crisis, to then start paying attention, is not a healthy approach.
CADs are all different. All react different. Severity of the disease seems broad across the patients that deal with the challenges.
Remember, some CADs often have no physical visible indicators. Perhaps no visual alerts that cooler or cold temperatures are causing accelerated hemolysis and subsequent die off of red blood cells. Or they don’t know what to look for.
Blood tests would indicate the drop in hemoglobin levels. But by the time that might be arranged, a CAD could be well into a full blown crisis. Its good to have routine CBC/RBC tests scheduled in advance by your doctor. At a much closer interval during cool and cold months.
Other CADs do get physical visible indicators. The darkening of their nose, fingers or toes. Molting or odd color variation spots on the legs or arms. Strange sensations or crawling feeling on their scalps or other areas. If an individual didn’t know they are CAD, they might ignore the symptoms. Or they may not relate these symptoms to an indicator of a health issue.
The point of all of this is this. Many CADs need to take a preventive approach to avoid lowering their Hemoglobin counts/levels.
With your weakened immune system you must avoid people that are sick. That may mean avoiding public places as much as possible, wearing a mask, washing hands often, etc.
Having small school age children around, can often bless you with something that can really have negative repercussions.
Avoid cool temperatures, getting chilled, or cold. Practice this 100% of the time. Keep your environment warm at all times. CADs often have to stay in 75-80°F temps to avoid triggering Hgb lowering hemolysis.
If you must venture outside make sure you are bundled up. Be sure normally exposed skin surfaces are covered. For some, even inhaling cold air is a problem. Cold drinks and foods become more of a hazard to some, and even more so in the colder months of the year.
Sleeping and exposing parts of your body to cooler room temperatures for 8 hours can be a real problem too. Up the room temperature. Wear a stocking cap, long arm sleeves, long leg coverings, and socks. Even gloves if need be. Exposing an uncovered arm or leg, or even your head for any length of time can often accelerate a CADs hemolysis. Once your body starts destroying red blood cells faster than your body can create new replacements (Retic). You start sliding down that slope to becoming anemic, or more anemic.
The odd thing about cool/cold temperatures. A CADs may not feel uncomfortable or cold to remind them they are doing harm to themselves.
During these cooler/colder months of the year it is advisable that you work with your Hematologist to monitor your Hemoglobin levels on some type of reoccurring basis based on your past history. If need be, have a RBC/CBC run monthly. More or less depending on your severity.
RBC/CBC is the blood test for many CADs, that it is critical to keep the drawn blood sample warm. Process it Stat to avoid failed or flawed results. See our thoughts on keeping the RBC/CBC warm.
But as with any statement about CAD. All of this can all vary from individual to individual CAD.