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Definition

What is bleeding disorder?

A bleeding disorder is a condition that affects the way your blood normally clots. The clotting process, also known as coagulation, changes blood from a liquid to a solid. When you’re injured, your blood normally begins to clot to prevent a massive loss of blood. Sometimes, certain conditions prevent blood from clotting properly, which can result in heavy or prolonged bleeding.

Bleeding disorders can cause abnormal bleeding both outside and inside the body. Some disorders can drastically increase the amount of blood leaving your body. Others cause bleeding to occur under the skin or in vital organs, such as the brain.

There are numerous different bleeding disorders, but the following are the most common ones:

  • Hemophilia A and B are conditions that occur when there are low levels of clotting factors in your blood. It causes heavy or unusual bleeding into the joints. Though hemophilia is rare, it can have life-threatening complications.
  • Factor II, V, VII, X, or XII deficiencies are bleeding disorders related to blood clotting problems or abnormal bleeding problems.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. It develops when the blood lacks von Willebrand factor, which helps the blood to clot.

How common is bleeding disorder?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of bleeding disorder?

The symptoms can vary depending on the specific type of bleeding disorder. However, the main signs include:

  • Unexplained and easy bruising
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Excessive bleeding from small cuts or an injury
  • Bleeding into joints

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes bleeding disorder?

For blood to clot, your body needs cells called platelets and proteins known as clotting factors. If you have a bleeding disorder, you either do not have enough platelets or clotting factors or they don’t work the way they should.

The majority of bleeding disorders are inherited, which means they’re passed from a parent to their child. However, some disorders may develop as a result of other medical conditions, such as liver disease.

Bleeding disorders may also be caused by:

  • A low red blood cell count
  • A vitamin k deficiency
  • Side effects from certain medications

Medications that can interfere with the clotting of the blood are called anticoagulants.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for bleeding disorder?

Discuss with your doctor for further information.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is bleeding disorder diagnosed?

To diagnose a bleeding disorder, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They will also perform a physical examination. During your appointment, make sure to mention:

  • Any medical conditions you currently have
  • Any medications or supplements you may be taking
  • Any recent falls or trauma
  • How often you experience the bleeding
  • How long the bleeding lasts
  • What you were doing before the bleeding began

After gathering this information, your doctor will run blood tests to make a proper diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • A complete blood count (cbc), which measures the amount of red and white blood cells in your body
  • A platelet aggregation test, which checks how well your platelets clump together
  • A bleeding time, which determines how quickly your blood clots to prevent bleeding

How is bleeding disorder treated?

Treatment options vary depending on the type of bleeding disorder and its severity. Though treatments can’t cure bleeding disorders, they can help relieve the symptoms associated with certain disorders.

Iron Supplementation

Your doctor may prescribe iron supplements to replenish the amount of iron in your body if you have significant blood loss. A low iron level can result in iron deficiency anemia. This condition can make you feel weak, tired, and dizzy. You may need a blood transfusion if symptoms don’t improve with iron supplementation.

Blood Transfusion

A blood transfusion replaces any lost blood with blood taken from a donor. The donor blood has to match your blood type to prevent complications. This procedure can only be done in the hospital.

Other Treatments

Some bleeding disorders may be treated with topical products or nasal sprays. Other disorders, including hemophilia, can be treated with factor replacement therapy. This involves injecting clotting factor concentrates into your bloodstream. These injections can prevent or control excessive bleeding.

You can also get fresh frozen plasma transfusions if you lack certain clotting factors. Fresh frozen plasma contains factors V and VIII, which are two important proteins that help with blood clotting. These transfusions must be done in a hospital.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage bleeding disorder?

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: October 27, 2017 | Last Modified: October 27, 2017

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