Hemophilia is a form of inherited bleeding disorder which occurs when the blood is unable to clot sufficiently resulting in continuous bleeding. This occurs due to an individual having a low number of clotting factors which can lead to serious health problems. People with hemophilia either have low levels of factor VII or factor IX. Many of the cases come from occur in middle-age or elderly people and sometimes in young women during pregnancy or when recently given birth.
Hemophilia occurs when there is a mutation in one of the genes preventing the gene from giving information to form clotting factors. This mutation results in preventing the clotting factors from working or it being unavailable in the body to do its function in the brain that can be attributed to seizures and paralysis. Lastly, if the bleeding cannot be stopped, it can result in death.
There are different types of hemophilia, however the 2 common classes are Hemophilia A also known as classic hemophilia which is caused by lack of clotting factor VII. The other class is Hemophilia B known as Christmas disease which occurs due to lack of clotting factor IX. Hemophilia A is about 4 times more common than Hemophilia B but nonetheless it can affect individuals of all races and ethnic groups.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of hemophilia include bleeding in the joints which can lead to swelling, pain or tightness in the joints of the knees, elbows or ankles. There can be bleeding into the skin where an individual may notice bruising in the muscle or soft tissue where there could be a buildup of blood known at hematoma. Bleeding can also occur in the mouth or gums after a circumcision or vaccination. Some individuals may notice blood in the urine or stool or when an individual has frequent nosebleeds.
If you identify that you have many of these symptoms, it is important that you speak with your healthcare provider to see whether a diagnosis is required. Often, when people have, or their family members have hemophilia, doctors will ask baby boys to be tested. Typically, diagnosis is conducted through blood tests in which can identify the level of clotting factors present in the body.
There are some ways to treat hemophilia by replacing blood clotting factors through infusion administered through the veins. Individuals who have hemophilia can conduct the infusion themselves to prevent excess bleeding called prophylaxis. For more information, speak with your healthcare provider or specialist at your pharmacy to learn about other ways to treat hemophilia.
If you are interested to learn more, you can visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html
Written by: Shenen Sivakumar