Understanding Hemophilia | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Bleeding is probably one of the most worrying symptoms, no matter where it happens. People are rarely scared if they are coughing, but coughing up blood is often considered an alarming symptom. Diarrhea is always an uncomfortable symptom, but bloody diarrhea is much more alarming. What if you have a disease that increases your risk of bleeding? That is what hemophilia is about

That’s why in this article, we’re going to focus on the most common type of hemophilia and give you the essential facts you need to know about hemophilia A. After reading, you will be able to easily identify the symptoms of hemophilia A, suspect this problem, and understand the diagnostic process.

What is Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare, inherited blood disorder that affects the body’s ability to control bleeding. People with hemophilia lack certain clotting factors, which are proteins that help the blood clot. Without these proteins, even a tiny cut or scrape can quickly turn into an uncontrollable bleed, and severe internal bleeding can occur from even minor injuries.

Bleeding can be a severe and frequent problem for people with hemophilia. In order to prevent long-term damage, it is important to control the bleeding as quickly as possible. Medications such as desmopressin and factor VIII or IX concentrates can help to stop bleeding and promote healing.

Symptoms of Hemophilia

The symptoms of Hemophilia usually appear during infancy or early childhood and can range from mild to severe. They may include excessive bleeding after surgery or after trauma, and severe Hemophilia may consist of spontaneous, recurrent, and/or prolonged bleeding into joints and soft tissue.

Bleeding after surgery or trauma can be very difficult to control sometimes, but some patients with hemophilia simply need a larger period to heal. Their coagulation cascade is slower than usual, which is measurable in blood tests.

When the disease is very severe, spontaneous bleeding episodes can be very dangerous. These episodes can happen in the skin and mucosa or in the form of internal bleeding, which is invisible and causes anemia. Thus, patients may also display anemia symptoms, such as weakness, pale skin, low tolerance to exercise, tiredness, and dry skin.

In addition, people with Hemophilia are at an increased risk of developing an inhibitor, which is an antibody that blocks the action of the clotting factor, thus further impairing the body’s ability to clot blood. So, these patients will still have hemophilia symptoms after receiving their treatment.