Living a More Comfortable Life with a Serious Medical Condition
Hemophilia is an inherited medical condition where the blood clotting capabilities of the body are significantly reduced; this can be scary when sudden bleeding occurs or when bleeding arises due to surgery or infection.
Many individuals with this bleeding disorder must practice safe and careful tips to avoid life-threatening situations. With hemophilia, the clotting factor gene mutation may lead to bleeding in the joints or brain. While scary, this is an all too real threat for those living with this bleeding disorder.
So, what should you know if you or someone you love is dealing with this condition? What are some of the best tips for living with hemophilia? Let’s take a look.
Tips for Living With Hemophilia
Living with hemophilia is tough but not unmanageable. Here are a few things to remember as you go through your life with this condition.
Tip #1: Book and attend an annual comprehensive checkup at a hemophilia treatment center
There are around one hundred hemophilia centers across North America. While not entirely accessible for everyone, finding the closest one to your hometown and planning a time each year to attend a regular check-up at these centers can ensure your health stays on track and that you’re managing your condition in the best way possible.
At these centers, there are usually teams of healthcare professionals, including a hematologist, orthopedist (joint protection and the treatment of joint symptoms are essential in hemophilia care), nurses, physical therapists, and more.
Research shows that those who attend annual checkups at these centers have improved health outcomes and more prolonged, healthier, and happier lives than those with hemophilia who fail to attend regular appointments.
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2. Get vaccinated
In particular, for those with hemophilia, the hepatitis A and B vaccines are important to get. Both types are given as multiple injections within a six-month timeframe. By getting vaccinated, you can prevent infections and other issues that could be minor problems for some individuals but serious for those with hemophilia.
3. Treat bleeds early
With hemophilia, severe bleeding from a minor cut is entirely possible. It’s crucial to have a realistic plan in place in case a minor injury becomes more serious due to this bleeding disorder. For instance, having the medication called fibrin sealant can encourage clotting and be applied directly to the wound.
Additionally, it’s important to let any healthcare professional know about your condition, such as the dentist or if you’re going in for a specialized medical procedure.
4. Lead an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight
Hemophilia doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. You should!
Undeniably, you want to ensure you reduce your risk of injury. However, exercise can help protect joints and strengthen them. In turn, this can decrease your risk of experiencing spontaneous or sudden bleeding. Here are a few pointers:
Avoid contact sports as they pose a higher risk of injury. Yet, this doesn’t mean you can’t try other team sports.
Strength training can be very beneficial for your overall health, as well as your joints.
It may be a good idea to ease into exercise if you haven’t been doing it regularly. For instance, working with a personal trainer or a physical therapist aware of your hemophilia diagnosis can ensure you perform safe and effective workouts.
5. Get tested regularly for bloodborne infections
With a pre-existing blood disease, other bloodborne infections can cause increased complications, meaning it’s important to do regular blood testing for common bloodborne infections. The sooner you are aware, the easier it is to treat. Talk to your doctor about when they recommend you should go in for regular testing.
Living a Happy and Healthy Life With Hemophilia is Entirely Possible!
While a hemophilia diagnosis can be scary, it doesn’t have to be life-ending. It should encourage you to focus on your health and ensure you’re doing everything you can to manage this potentially life-threatening condition.
Lastly, if you have a child with hemophilia, it’s important to let your kid be a kid. Their development needs to engage in play and explore. At the same time, take all the necessary precautions you can, such as using a helmet when necessary, fastening seat belts, keeping sharp objects out of sight or harm’s way, and ensuring there aren’t any sharp corners within your household; this includes a table or furniture corners. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s health and hemophilia, it’s best to discuss them with your doctor who knows your child’s situation best.