5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy, Active Lifestyle While Living With Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a rare bleeding disorder, found in about 1 percent of the United States population. There is no cure for the disease, but most cases are mild and von Willebrand treatment is typically only required if you have surgery, dental procedures or are in an accident.
For those with more serious cases of the disease, health care professionals often suggest medications. Living with von Willebrand disease may be stressful at times, but there are ways to manage the condition. The following tips will help manage the disorder and lead a fulfilling lifestyle.
- Avoid Certain Medications
Von Willebrand disease is due to missing the von Willebrand Factor, which causes excessive bleeding with this condition. It is important to check with your doctor before taking any medications, especially over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin or other NSAIDS, which affect blood clotting.
- Warn Healthcare Providers
It is important to talk with healthcare providers, such as your doctor and dentist, and let them know that you have been diagnosed with von Willebrand disease. If you need to have procedures, such as a tooth extraction, that may cause bleeding, your doctor may prescribe a medication for you to take beforehand that will reduce or prevent bleeding during the procedure.
- Wear/Carry Identification
It is important to wear a medical bracelet or carry a medical information card with you at all times, especially if you have a severe form of vWD. The card should list your type of vWD and emergency contact information for your doctor. If you are in an accident, and even if you only have minor injuries, bleeding may be excessive. The card will help emergency workers identify why you are bleeding so excessively and allow them to provide the appropriate treatment.
- Exercise and Healthy Weight
It is essential that you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise will help keep your muscles flexible, as well as help to prevent damage to your muscles and joints. The stronger and more flexible you are, the less risk there is of excess bleeds. Always talk with your doctor for recommendations of safe exercise routines. It is best to avoid contact sports, such as football.
- Maintain Good Oral Health
Practicing good dental health habits will help to prevent bleeding that is caused by gum disease and/or oral surgery. It is important to brush and floss at least twice each day and visit your dentist for regular dental exams to prevent the risk of further damage.
It is important to keep in mind that people with bleeding disorders, such as vWD, are just like everyone else- other than a few special medical needs and taking a few extra precautions. They can fully participate in a vast array of activities. This condition is easily managed from home and under the guidance of healthcare professionals.
Living well with von Willebrand disease is more than possible.