Hemophilia - A General Examination to the Incurable Bleeding Disease

by Trevor Price

Posted on Monday 13th of October 2008

Hemophilia disease refers to a group of diseases. Each of these diseases affects the body's ability to clot or coagulate blood. Basically, if a hemophiliac is cut or suffers from internal bleeding, the body is unable to clot and stop the bleeding.

If you're curious about hemophilia and want to learn more about it, please read on.

Root Causes of Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a genetic disease. There are three types of hemophilia - Hemophilia A, which is caused by non-functioning clotting Factor VII, is the most common; Hemophilia B is caused by non-functioning clotting Factor IX; and Hemophilia C, which is caused by non-functioning clotting Factor XI.

Typically, hemophilia affects males. Women are usually just carriers. If a father has hemophilia, he won't pass it to his son, but he will almost always pass it to a daughter. If a mother is a hemophilia gene carrier, there is a 50 percent chance that she will pass the gene on to her child. It's important to note that hemophilia is relatively rare.

Treating Hemophilia Disease

Hemophilia does not have a cure. That said, the disease is typically controlled by adding the missing clotting factors to the patient's blood. This is called prophylactic treatment because it's designed to prevent bleeding incidents. Some hemophiliacs may begin to resist the antibodies of these clotting factors, so animal derivatives must then be used.

In other treatment news, there is new a drug that was recently approved which has been dubbed an anti-hemophiliac option. It's genetically engineered from Chinese hamsters and believed to help the body begin to create the needed factors.

Usually, if a patient is undergoing prophylactic treatment, it's an ongoing process that continues on a weekly or monthly basis throughout the course of his life. However, some patients opt for on-demand service, meaning they only receive clotting agents when bleeding occurs. This is the more affordable treatment method most often chosen by those living in the U.S. without health insurance.

In areas or countries where health care is covered by the state, patients can typically attend care centers designated for hemophiliac care. They are then assigned a hematologist, nurse, physiotherapist and social worker to help them with their treatments and continuation of care.

Alternative Care for Hemophiliacs

Some people believe that hemophilia can be controlled through hypnosis. They state it can reduce the amount of severe bleeds and help control bleeding once it starts. However, this has never been proven in a clinical setting and has not yet been subject to medical review.

Other methods include ingesting certain herbs, like scotch broom or grape seed extract, which are believed to strengthen the blood vessels. Again, there is no clinical evidence that suggest these particular herbs are an effective or even preventive remedy for hemophilia disease.

Speak first with your doctor, however, before attempting such an option. Clinically unproven options can certainly generate an exciting ray of hope when combined with persuasive anecdotal data. But your health is too precious - and for hemopheliacs, too precarious - to venture very far outside established medical norms without convincing evidence of consistent success.

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