Hemophilia is a condition, where the ability of the body to clot the blood is impaired, due to which the bleeding cannot be stopped in case of an injury. This condition is often also known as the 'royal disease', as it prominently features in the European royalty. It is said that the condition was passed on into the royalty through Queen Victoria, through her son and daughters into the other royal families of Europe. Since those times, research has been carried out at different locations to find a hemophilia cure.
There are two types of hemophilia, namely Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B. Hemophilia A is the more common type and is see in about 1 in 5000 to 10,000 male child. On the other hand, Hemophilia B is seen in about 1 in 20,000 to 34,000 male child. From the above statements, it is clear that the condition is more commonly seen in male births. The cause of hemophilia is the defective gene. While there are two X chromosomes in a female, the chance of defective gene manifesting in females is rather rare. Although, females can also be carriers of the defective gene either from the mother or the father or it can also be due to a new gene mutation. It is in real rare cases, that women may have hemophilia.
Is There a Cure for Hemophilia?
As of now there is no hemophilia cure in sight. However, that does not mean that the condition cannot be kept under control. Depending on the type of hemophilia, a deficient clotting factor can be infused into the blood. The replacement factor can either be taken from isolated human blood serum or it can be recombinant or it can also be a combination of both of them. There are chances that the person may develop antibodies from the replacement. In such a case, either the dose of replacement has to be increased or non human replacement products will have to be infused. Some patients do not undergo the regular replacement therapy. They prefer to deal with the problem, as and when the need arises.
The aim of hemophilia treatment is to decrease the frequency of bleeding incidences along with the severity of the condition. A plasma derived factor, which is made from human plasma, is administered to the patient. It circulates in the blood immediately upon administration, which helps in prohibiting any further loss of blood. Once the bleeding stops, the body starts the reabsorption process, due to which the blood that has made its way into the tissues and joints does not cause swelling or pain and is drained out of the tissues and joints. It is important to note that the factor be administered to the patient as soon as the bleeding episode starts, to avoid further complications.
Some of the research points to the fact that transplantation of liver lining cells may prove to be of help in combating the condition. Although the experiments have proved to be successful in mice, the same has not been established about humans. However, experts are of the opinion, that a further deep study needs to be conducted, before the therapy can be used on humans. Along with the liver lining cells, the use of gene therapy for treating the condition is also studied.
There are over-the-counter medications available for treating the condition. These help in relieving the pain caused by the condition. While administering any over-the-counter medicine, care should be taken to ensure that the medicine does not contain aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid, as it causes thinning of blood, which will further hamper the clotting process. Anticoagulants like heparin and warfarin are also not recommended for people with hemophilia, as they can aggravate the condition. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the health care professional before administering any over-the-counter medication to the person.
Along with the other cure for hemophilia, it is recommended to include some preventive exercises in the daily schedule. These will help in strengthening the joints, increase flexibility, tone and strengthen the muscles and also increase the ability of the body to protect the joints from damaging bleeds. It is best to consult a physician for the right exercises and not self treat the condition.
Disclaimer: This write up should be used for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as medical advice.