Why do I have problems when I swim in extreme hot/cold temperatures with sickle cell anemia?

Blood flow changes. Swimming can cool the skin, even when it is warm outside. This can cause decreased blood flow, which has been shown to affect the sickling of sickle cells. If you continue to swim, it would be good to dry off quickly and put on a shirt quickly. This may help.
Sickle cell anemia. Extremes of temperature and physical exertion tasks both the circulation of blood and the individual hemoglobin molecule. So when you are exercising in the heat or cold you are demanding more of the sickled red blood cell as well as your heart to deliver oxygen to your muscles and this is why it is problematic.

Related Questions

When having sickle cell anemia what medicine can you take for a cold?

Check with Heme Dr. Hematology doctors who takes care of the sickle problems have guidelines on cold medications that are ok to use. Some doctors recommend not using tylenol/motrin/advil to treat fever, because such meds may "mask" a fever that would otherwise send a patient to the doctor to get treatment for an infection. Some recommend avoiding meds that can increase heart rate (such as phenylephrine and sudafed). Read more...

How/why does sickle cell anemia cause problems when under anaesthetics?

Stress. While under general anesthesia the body is under increased stress both from the anesthesia and the procedure. This increased stress can increase the rate at which cells sickle potentially causing problems. Read more...
Increased sickling. Multiple factors can result in increased sickling during anesthesia and surgery. Chemical changes in the acidity of the blood, oxygen carrying capacity of the blood, body temperature, etc all increase the risk of sickling. Therefore transfusions are strongly recommended prior to surgery to reduce the total number of red cells with hemoglobin s prior to surgery in an attempt to minimize the risk. Read more...
Sickling. When someone with sickle cell anemia is in crisis their red blood cells are reconfigured into a sickle shape. This sickled shape cannot carry oxygen adequately. This will lead to hypoxemia. . Read more...
Sickled red cells. cause vaso-occlusion by clustering and the patients are frequently anemic. They are high risk especially for major procedures. Read more...