While growing up, I used to think my eyes unique. After all, it was not easy to have eyes that change from maroon to yellow or shades of yellow/white as they please. I sometimes referred to them as chameleon eyes and felt somehow special about them eyes. It was not until I was a bit older to understand my health that I realized far from being special features, the yellowness of my eyes were most often, testaments to an impending health storm. Most often, when my eyes got too yellow, I ended up in the hospital. I never really understood why that was so back then. There were times my eyes and body could be so yellow that people around me thought I was suffering from yellow fever. Oh I have passed through this particular yellow fever storm too… story for another day… but these yellow eyes had nothing to do with yellow fever. In fact, it is a unique feature sickle cell warriors worldwide have to deal with.
Jaundice aka yellow eyes, is very common amongst sickle cell warriors. Sometimes, it is usually that one feature to a keen observer which betrays our warrior status especially if we don’t like talking about it and because of this, many warriors hate these yellow eyes and are always on the outlook on how to eradicate it. Unfortunately, it is something we cannot completely eradicate. However, we can minimize their occurrence. Before we go to how we can do that, let’s talk a little on why our eyes tend to be yellow.
Simply put, and as I have often repeated here, sickle cell disorder is a genetic health disorder which affects a lot of people in predominantly black communities and some Asian/Mid-Eastern countries. This disorder gets its name from the sickled shapes our red blood cells take which gives them a shorter life span. This short life span means our red blood cells die faster than our livers can filter out; they thus accumulate and form bilirubin, which causes our eyes to have this yellowish colour. Sometimes too, this yellowness is an indication of an impending crisis so it is important for us to understand the dynamics of our bodies and avoid situations which could trigger full blown crises. The more the bilirubin in our system, the more yellow our eyes and even our body complexion become.
Having given a simple reason why our eyes get this yellowish colour, let’s now focus on what we can do to minimize their occurrence. There are at least a few things we as individual warriors can do. I have heard some people talk about a certain drug. However, I have never really been interested to check out that drug because knowing there are some drugs which are just inevitable for us to live without such as pain killers, I have long ago decided to as much as possible, to minimize how much drugs go into my system, take simple everyday natural and cheaper steps to deal with my health and this has proven to work just fine for me. I have had clearer eyes and enjoyed my natural chocolate skin colour for many years now. Sometimes, even when sick, it takes only a very special critical eye to pick out that yellow in my eyes. I will share with you all what simple steps I have carried out through these years to make this possible.
DRINK A LOT OF WATER: I drink a lot of water. As we all know, water is the number one natural purifier. In addition to ensuring our red blood cells have enough water to swim through and avoid blockages, drinking a lot of water also helps our livers and kidneys to stay clean and thus, makes it easier for them to eliminate the excessive red blood cells that die and accumulate in them.
EAT HEALTHY: We are what we eat they say. It is very important to practice a healthy eating routine. Eat more fruits and vegetables as opposed to fast and processed food.
AVOID ALCOHOL AND OTHER RELATED DRINKS: Excessive alcohol intake, consumption of fuzzy and sugar rich drinks and smoking are not advisable for sickle cell warriors. There’s nothing wrong in indulging now and then in a beer or soft drink but make sure to drink a lot of water after that. Natural homemade juices are better and healthier. Smoking is a NO, NO!
Bottom line is, eat healthy, avoid harmful health habits such as excessive drinking and smoking and stay hydrated. I have made eating healthy and staying hydrated a part of my life. It has become a rule, a habit rather than the exception and I have seen this decision doing me good especially in the colour of my eyes J. And the bonus point is, they are all affordable and easily accessible. I hope these simple steps can also help you or your warrior to minimize how often their eyes get yellow. Do you know any other steps warriors can follow to minimize these yellow eyes? If so please tell us in the comment section, thank you.
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