Bleeding disorders can cause abnormal bleeding inside and outside the patient’s body. You probably do not know about these strange bleeding disorders.
Bleeding disorders occur when the blood clotting process of the body is damaged. As a result of this breakdown, some patients may bleed profusely inside or from their joints, muscles, and other areas of the body. Platelets are a type of blood cells that stick to each other and form a plug in areas where injured blood cells are located. Proteins are the blood clotting factors that help in the formation of a fibrin clot called a gel plug which helps the blood platelets stick in place. Not only does this promote healing in the injured blood vessels, it also helps prevent the blood from escaping outside the blood vessels.
Bleeding disorders are generally caused due to reasons like low red blood cells count, deficiency of vitamin K, anticoagulants (medicines that can interfere with the blood clotting process) and also as a result of certain after-effects of traumas or injuries.
The following are the 2 most prevalent types of bleeding disorders in the world:
- Von Willebrand Disease
This is a type of a bleeding disorder that is inherited. It occurs when the protein that helps in the clotting process (named the Von Willebrand factor in the blood) and which is also responsible for carrying other clotting properties is absent or not functioning properly. Von Willebrand bleeding disorders can be categorized in three types, namely type1, 2 and 3.
Of these, type 1 is the mildest form of the bleeding disorder, while type 3 is the most severe condition. Women are more commonly diagnosed with this type of bleeding disorder, especially during menstruation. Intake of drugs containing aspirin and ibuprofen without a doctor’s approval is strictly not recommended for patients suffering this bleeding disorder as it may cause aggressive bleeding in the patient. If you have this disorder, it is important to seek medical help from a hematologist before any type of surgery to avoid excessive bleeding during the surgical procedure.
This type of bleeding disorders are caused as a result of a genetic defect in the X chromosome which can be passed to the child. Girl children tend to be carriers of this condition, unless both the chromosomes contain the defective gene which is a rare case scenario. Boys tend to be more susceptible to hemophilia. This condition causes excessive bleeding even with a minor cut or bruise in any part of the body as a result of poor blood clotting factors in the blood. Patients suffering from this type of bleeding disorders also experience excessive internal bleeding in various muscles and joints that can damage the tissues over a period of time.
Treatment of this type of bleeding disorder was earlier achieved via blood transfusion. However this treatment process presents potential risks as it could also lead to the transmission of various blood borne viruses. In recent times, treatment for hemophilia is being done in laboratories by creating synthetic blood factors through gene cloning processes. This is considered a much safer option as compared to blood transfusion.
Other Bleeding Disorders
These two are by no means the only bleeding disorders out there. Rare clotting factor deficiencies like hemophilia are bleeding disorders where one or more clotting factors are absent or are not functioning to their full capacity. Another type of bleeding disorder is called inherited platelet disorder where the platelets do not function normally, which results in the increased tendency to becoming bruised or bleeding. This type includes bleeding disorders such as Bernard-Soulier syndrome, Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia, and platelet storage pool disorders. Not much is known about these strange bleeding disorders because they get diagnosed so rarely. In fact, most of these bleeding disorders have only been recognized and categorized in the last 4 decades.
Bleeding disorders can be either inherited or acquired by the patient at later stages in life. However it is imperative to understand the medical history of the patient in order to diagnose these illnesses. There are several supplements that can be provided in order to treat bleeding disorders, but the truth is that there is no cure for bleeding disorders and treatments only help in reducing the corresponding symptoms. Not only do patients have to ensure that they take their medications on time, but they also have to ensure that they keep themselves out of the way of potential harm as much as possible.