Revealing a Bleeding Disorder: Informative, Not Frightening

First of all, many people have experienced a nose bleed at some point. A nose bleed is a very common annoyance for many. These people typically just brush it off as something that happens to them (and probably other people in their family) and consequently move on with their day.

What if people were told that these chronic nosebleeds were indicators of a treatable bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)?

Personally, I think people would freak out.

I was relieved to find a source that was both informative and realistic on the subject of VWD and it’s diagnosis. At last I did not find myself over-analyzing all my symptoms! Actually, I felt educated and engaged in a topic that in most instances would scare the living you know what out of me.

A defect or inadequate amount of the Von Willebrand protein is the cause of VWD. The ability of blood to form clots is directly linked to the Von Willebrand protein.

In reality, there are different degrees at which this can affect you and it is all because of your genetics!

Fear not; you cannot catch it by standing next to someone who gets nose bleeds! A family that has a history of nose bleeds should make a mental note to speak with a physician because VWD is a genetic disorder.

What to do:

  1. Raise awareness! The more people know about the signs and symptoms, the more likely they are to seek out treatment.

2. See a doctor if you feel that excessive bleeding runs in your family. Although Dr Corrales-Medina says diagnosis can be tricky, the key is to see a doctor. Assessment of the Von Willebrand protein’s functionality will give a hematologist all the information needed to make a diagnosis of VWD.

3. Be supportive! A doctor and specialist can diagnose and treat VWD, but it is not always easy!

What not to do:

  1. Panic. To be clear, nosebleeds are a common occurrence especially in times of drier weather. Keep track of the actual frequency and duration of your nosebleeds.

2. Keep this info to yourself! When talking with others, do not just brush off chronic nose bleeds. The more people know, the better chance they have to go see their doctor and start receiving treatment.


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