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Hemophilia- What, Why, How?

More than 2 lakh people globally suffer from some form of Hemophilia.

In simple terms, Hemophilia is a bleeding disorder. It manifests as excessive or sudden bleeding after an injury or surgery.  Several risk factors may make a person more vulnerable to the condition. Due to its major impact, doctors prescribe continuous Hemophilia treatment and therapies. 



With this blog, let's take a deeper look into the causes & symptoms of Hemophilia. Read ahead for more!


Hemophilia- Define & Discuss

Hemophilia is an inherited condition that impacts blood clotting. In a healthy individual, bleeding naturally stops due to blood clotting factors. However, affected individuals lack the number of clotting factors required. Hence, the bleeding is prolonged. 

Hemophilia is primarily caused due to genetic factors. Though, in some rare cases, the disease may onset later in life. This case is mostly observed in middle-aged or elderly individuals and postpartum women. 


How do you know you suffer from Hemophilia?

Timely & appropriate treatment of the condition can help in efficient management. But to avail treatment well in time, it is important to be aware of the notable symptoms. 


Some of the notable symptoms of Hemophilia are:


Persistent Nosebleeds: Individuals with Hemophilia May experience nosebleeds. The nosebleeds take an extended period to stop.

Prolonged Bleeding from Wounds: Bleeding from wounds that last longer than usual.

Bleeding Gums: Bleeding gums are also a notable sign of the condition's impact.

Easy Bruising of the Skin: Affected individuals may exhibit skin that bruises easily.

Joint Pain and Stiffness: Internal bleeding in joints, particularly elbows, can result in pain and stiffness.

Unexplained Bleeding in Infants: In infants, signs include bleeding in the head after a challenging delivery. Signs also include blood in urine or stool and unexplained irritability.


If you observe any of these symptoms in yourself or the people around you, visit a doctor immediately. Starting the treatment on time can make management easier. 


Hemophilia causes everyone must know!

There are a few factors that may put an individual at higher risk of hemophilia. In addition to these factors, it is important to be aware of other underlying causes. Awareness enables early diagnosis and Hemophilia Treatment. 


Based on Hemophilia causes, the condition can be divided into the following two types:


  • Congenital Hemophilia

This type is more commonly found. It is inherited, i.e., impacted individuals take birth with this disorder. The congenital type of Hemophilia can be further divided based on the clotting factor that is deficient in the body. Based on the type of deficient clotting factor, the condition can further be divided into two types:


  • Hemophilia A: Caused by low levels of factor 8.

  • Hemophilia B: Caused by low levels of factor 9.

The genetic basis of Hemophilia is often traced to the X chromosome. Females inherit an X chromosome from both parents. On the other hand, males get it from the mother and a Y chromosome from the father. Hence, Hemophilia primarily affects males. The condition is typically passed from carrier mothers to their sons. Carriers, who are mostly asymptomatic, may experience bleeding symptoms.

  • Acquired Hemophilia

In contrast, acquired Hemophilia occurs without a family history. This variation results from the immune system affecting the clotting factors, 8 or 9, in the blood. It can be triggered by several factors. The factors include pregnancy, autoimmune conditions, cancer, multiple sclerosis, or drug reactions.


Which tests to take to know if you have Hemophilia?

There is a list of tests your doctor can prescribe you. Here is a brief intro of them all so when the doctor prescribes one, you already have an idea.

Clotting Factor Tests (also called Factor Assays)

What is a Clotting Factor? It is a protein present in your blood that stops bleeding. It tells you the type of hemophilia and its severity.

  • Clotting Factor I (1) or Fibrinogen - Assesses your ability to form a blood clot.

  • Prothrombin Time (PT) Test - Measures the time taken for blood to clot. It is based on factors I (1), II (2), V (5), VII (7), and X (10).

  • Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) Test - Measures how long it takes for blood to clot. It is based on factors VIII (8), IX (9), XI (11), and XII (12).

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)


Hemophilia Treatment & Care

Hemophilia doesn't have a cure. Hence, Hemophilia treatment focuses on managing the condition rather than providing a cure. The goal is to allow individuals to maintain a good quality of life. Synthetic clotting factors are administered through injections. They serve as key medications to prevent and address prolonged bleeding. In less severe instances, injections are typically reserved for responding to prolonged bleeding. In more severe cases, regular injections are necessary to prevent instances of prolonged bleeding.


Despite the absence of a cure, impacted individuals can live relatively normal lives. This can be made possible with efficient treatment. However, they will have to practice certain precautions. Patients must also remain cautious while taking medications that impact blood clotting ability. Maintaining oral health is also crucial to prevent bleeding due to gum diseases. Patients are advised to seek expert advice before dental procedures like tooth extractions.


Hemophilia patients need to stay in touch with their healthcare providers to live a healthy life with the condition. 


Closing Thoughts

Hemophilia is rare. Despite no cure, individuals with Hemophilia Can lead normal lives with proper treatment. Treatment involves administering man-made clotting factors through injections. The goal is to prevent and manage bleeding episodes. Precautions include avoiding contact sports, being cautious with medicines, and maintaining oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups are crucial. Surgical dental procedures require consultation with the care team. Understanding the symptoms and treatment options empowers individuals to navigate life with Hemophilia. 

So, contact a medical professional in case you observe any of the symptoms. Seeking timely Hemophilia Treatment is very important. Timely diagnosis & treatment enable efficient disease management.

 

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