Haemophilia is a disease characterised by excessive bleeding in response to minor injuries, as a result of a deficiency of a clotting factors. Normally, when a blood vessel is breached and it starts bleeding, the process of haemostasis, which involves clotting factors and platelets, is activated and this quickly plugs the bleed. Haemophilia A is more prevalent and it is caused by a deficiency in clotting factor VIII. Haemophilia A is typically inherited by male children. Haemophilia B is caused by a deficiency in clotting factor IX. There are varying degrees of Haemophilia, according to how much of the clotting factor is present. In the most severe case, bleeding can be spontaneous.
Symptoms: excessive bleeding (externally, internally – into joints, air passages) and joint degeneration. Unnoticed internal bleeding is particularly dangerous. Low blood pressure and increased heart rate may signal that there is an internal bleed.
Who to consult: If you suspect that a haemophiliac is experiencing internal bleeding it is essential to seek emergency medical care. Other practitioners that may of assistance in controlling the condition are: dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, naturopath, occupational therapist, psychologist.