Hemophilia Treatment in Westchester, NY
Your body's blood flow, like the continuous flow of a river, is uninterrupted and needs to be in order to efficiently travel to the various organs of your body to facilitate their optimal function. However, unlike a river, the job of your body's blood is a bit different and far more miraculous; that is, your body requires your blood flow to responsively shut off in the event of a cut or injury, to prevent spills. This process is known as coagulation (colloquially known as blood clotting), and consists of your blood transitioning from a liquid to a gel, a natural and lifesaving mechanism to stop bleeding. In some people, however, there is a lack of certain proteins called clotting factors necessary to facilitate natural blood clotting, and the blood does not properly clot as a consequence. These instances are known as hemophilia. There are three types of hemophilia: hemophilia A, hemophilia B and hemophilia C.
- Hemophilia A: The most common form of hemophilia, hemophilia A is caused by a deficiency in VIII, an important enzyme that helps facilitate blood clot stability by crosslinking fibrous proteins that act as a mesh plug to complete a blood clot.
- Hemophilia B: Also referred to as Christmas disease, hemophilia B is caused by a deficiency in factor IX, an important protein which helps to form clots.
- Hemophilia C: A mild and rare form of hemophilia, hemophilia C is caused by a deficiency in factor XI. Patients with hemophilia C don’t experience spontaneous bleeding, while hemorrhaging typically occurs after trauma or surgery.
Hemophilia is an inherited, genetic condition, and isn't curable; however, treatment exists to minimize symptoms and prevent further health complications. It is important to meet with a healthcare provider that can assess the extent of your hemophilia and provide appropriate treatment to ensure health complications do not ensue. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Westchester that specializes in hemophilia treatment, call (929) 244-4466 or contact Manhattan Integrative Medicine online.
What causes hemophilia? Hemophilia, is a genetic condition, thus hemophilia causes are tied to inheriting certain kinds of genetic material from your parents. Everyone is born with two sex hormones, one from each parent. Females are born with an X chromosome, inherited from her mother, and an X chromosome inherited from her father. Males, on the other hand, are born with an X chromosome, inherited from his mother, and a Y chromosome inherited from his father. In cases of hemophilia A or B, a destructive gene from the mother, located on the X chromosome, is transferred to the son. By and large, women with this destructive gene show no signs or symptoms of hemophilia. In cases of hemophilia C, the disorder may be passed on to children by either parent, and may occur in girls and boys.
Depending on your level of clotting factors, hemophilia symptoms may vary. If your clotting factor is mildly reduced, you may experience bleeding after surgery or trauma. If your clotting factor is severe, on the other hand, you may experience spontaneous bleeding. General symptoms of hemophilia include:
- Unexplained, excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries, after surgery, dental work (from the gums) or following vaccinations
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the stool
- Large, unexplained bruises which may be deep
- Pain or tightness in the joints
- Irritability (in infants)
In addition, if you experience any of the following, more serious symptoms, it could indicate an emergency which warrants immediate medical treatment:
- Sudden pain, swelling and warmth in large joints such as the knees, elbows, hips and shoulders, as well as in the muscles of your arms and legs
- Bleeding from an injury, especially if you have severe hemophilia
- Painful, prolonged headache
- Repeated vomiting
- Extreme fatigue
- Neck pain
- Double vision
If you have a family history of hemophilia, it's possible to determine during pregnancy whether the fetus will be affected by the disease. However, for many carriers of the genes that could cause hemophilia, signs and symptoms do not present and, therefore, it is important to seek treatment if you or your child experiences any of the aforementioned symptoms. While no cure exists for hemophilia, affected parties can lead fairly normal lives if the appropriate treatment course is taken.
Hemophilia treatment focuses on the type of hemophilia you have. For patients with mild hemophilia A, a slow injection (or, alternatively, as a nasal medication) of the hormone desmopressin (DDAVP) can stimulate a release of more clotting factors to prevent bleeding. For patients with moderate to severe hemophilia A or hemophilia B, bleeding may stop after an infusion of recombinant clotting factor or clotting factor from donated blood, while repeated blood infusions may be necessary for severe cases. For cases of hemophilia C, clotting factor XI, the missing factor in this type of hemophilia, is only available in Europe; in the United States, plasma infusions are needed to stop bleeding episodes.
When it comes to treatment, hemophilia patients will likely require ongoing infusions of DDAVP or clotting factor to prevent bleeding. Your healthcare provide may recommend clot-preserving medications (antifibrinolytics) to help prevent clots from breaking down.
Hemophilia can be a serious health condition that heightens your chance of complications including deep internal bleeding, damaged joints and infection. It is thus important to meet with a healthcare provider if you suspect you or a loved one are suffering from hemophilia. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Westchester that specializes in hemophilia treatment, call (929) 244-4466 or contact Manhattan Integrative Medicine online.
Manhattan Integrative Medicine
Address330 W 58th St
New York, NY 10019
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