What is hemophilia?


Hemophilia is a rare genetic disorder related to blood in which the blood fails to clot normally. This disorder slows down blood clotting process which leads to excessive bleeding during injuries. The underlying reason is the lack of appropriate amount of clotting factor. In general, clot formation factors are proteins that interact with cells to halt bleeding at the site of damage. People with hemophilia generate fewer Specific Proteins or Factor IX than those who do not have the illness. This indicates that the individual bleeds for a longer period of time after an accident and is more prone to internal injuries. If the bleeding happens within a crucial organ, such as the head, it could be life-threatening. Let us understand in detail what is hemophilia and what causes it?  

What is hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a hereditary disorder that is passed down via families. This disorder is not curable, however it can be treated to relieve the symptoms and avoid future health problems. Hemophilia can occur after birth in exceedingly rare situations. This is known as "acquired haemophilia." This is true for persons whose immune systems produce antibodies that assault factors VIII or IX.

Three forms of hemophilia
Hemophilia A, B, and C are the three types of haemophilia.
•    Hemophilia A is the most prevalent kind of haemophilia, and it is induced by a factor VIII insufficiency. According to the National Institute of health, Pulmonary, and Blood Institute, haemophilia A affects eight out of every ten persons.
•    Hemophilia B, often known as Christmas illness, is characterized by a factor IX shortage.
•    Hemophilia C is a minor variant of the illness characterized by a factor XI insufficiency. People with this uncommon variant of haemophilia suffer spontaneous bleeding. Hemorrhaging usually happens as a result of surgery or trauma.

What Causes Hemophilia?
A mechanism in human body referred as "the coagulation cascade" effectively prevents hemorrhage. As injury occurs, blood cells starts collecting at the site and platelets starting forming a mesh like structure to plug the injury and finally leads to formation of blood clot. This ultimately stops further blood loss. This is body’s general mechanism to deal with the injuries whereas in case of hemophilia, the body lacks the blood clotting factor which leads to continuous blood loss for comparatively longer period than it normally should.

Risk Factors for Inheriting Hemophilia

Due to various genetic factors, males are more likely than females to have haemophilia A and B.

Hemophilia C is a genetic disorder that affects both women and men equally. This is due to the fact that the genetic abnormality that produces this kind of haemophilia has nothing to do with sex chromosomes. According to the Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombus formation Center, this type of sickness primarily affects persons of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, although it can afflict people of other ethnicities as well. Hemophilia C affects around one in every 100,000 persons in the United States.

Preventing Hemophilia

Being genetic in nature, Hemophilia is a disease that is passed on from mother to the developing fetus. There is no way to determine whether the developing fetus has the disease or not when a woman is pregnant. However, the eggs can be screened for the disease if they are fertilized in a clinic via in vitro fertilization. Only eggs free of haemophilia can then be transplanted. Genetic counseling could also be an effective option in case hemophilia runs in a family and other members are already having it.

Note: The purpose of this article is to create general awareness among the readers. The information provided is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute to medical practitioner's recommendations. In case you find above stated symptoms in you or your known, Kindly consult a physician or a specialist regarding diagnosis and treatment.

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