Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder caused by mutations in one of the genes that is responsible for controlling and regulating the blood proteins called clotting factors.
Based on a study, hemophilia occurs in about 1 in 4,500 males, passed on from a family member who has or had this disease, but females can be affected too. In the Philippines, around 10,000 Filipinos have hemophilia and 1 million suffer from Von Willebrand disease and other bleeding disorders.
To give you an overview, here’s how it works…
Your blood travels through your veins, arteries and capillaries. When there’s a cut in any of these, bleeding starts. And while the platelets gather at the opening, the clotting factors hold the platelets to form a clot to stop the bleeding. But for people with hemophilia, they do not have enough of the clotting factors. Thus, causing more bleeding at a much longer time.
A person with hemophilia is missing one of two kinds of factors. If you’re missing factor VIII, then you have the most common type known as Hemophilia A and if you’re missing factor IX, then you have the less common type known as Hemophilia B.
Having defective or missing factors means that your body has no way to repair itself. Thus, a simple leak or cut can lead to severe bleeding which can be fatal and life-threatening or can cause permanent damage to joints and internal organs.
Sometimes, even without a cut, if you are physically active, the capillary inside your body may bleed and cause a bruise or pain in the joints. Ignoring it may cause a problem later on including arthritis at a young age.
People with hemophilia must understand their condition well so as not to affect the severity of the disease.
Here are some tips to help you keep a healthy living:
1. Engage in less strenuous physical activities such as walking, swimming, dancing or bowling.
2. Keep your home safe by making it clutter-free and putting lights on the stairway. You can also put sturdy railings in the bathroom.
3. Don’t take blood thinner medicines. If buying over-the-counter pain relievers, just take acetaminophen.
4. Eat a healthy diet and maintain an ideal weight to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables; choose a lean protein source; include whole grains and; drink more water or low-fat milk. Iron-rich foods can also help you recover faster because you lose a lot of iron when you bleed.
5. Avoid vitamins and supplements such as Vitamin E, ginger, garlic, ginkgo biloba or Asian ginseng.
6. Get vaccinated against communicable diseases including hepatitis and COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccine is a more reliable way to build protection for all. It prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Some of the recommendations to patients with mild or severe hemophilia before getting vaccinated is to receive factor concentrates to prevent severe bleeding, use the smallest needle possible, and apply pressure to the injection area for at least 10 minutes.
7. Keep in touch with your doctor. Get comprehensive check-ups and get tested regularly for early detection of blood-borne infections like hepatitis.
8. Find a health care plan that can meet your complex needs. Hemophilia is an inherited condition which you have had since birth and that can also affect your children. The cost of treatment for this disease can skyrocket for up to more than 1 million pesos annually. What if you don’t have enough savings? How will you be able to sustain your treatment and medication?
For someone with bleeding disorder, health coverage is one of the most important things you should have.
Paramount Direct is here to provide you with an affordable health insurance product called Hospital Income Benefit Plan, with family coverage, to assist you financially in case of a hospital confinement due to hemophilia or other illness and injury.
Our Hospital Income Benefit Plan, intended for ages 20 up to 64 years old, provides cash benefits for regular, dread disease and long-term confinements. It also covers pre-existing conditions after 3 years of continuous coverage. Premium starts at PHP69/month for individual coverage, PHP131/month for couples coverage and PHP175/month for family coverage. Based on insurance age of 20 and Plan 500.
Apply online today by visiting www.paramountdirect.com!
There are available treatments that can help you manage hemophilia effectively. But sad to say, 3 out of 4 people with this condition lack the resources required for proper treatment. April 17 is World Hemophilia Day. Let us raise awareness to educate more families and patients about this disease and call the attention of our policymakers to provide sustainable and equal access to care and treatment.