Hemophilia

Definition

Hemophilia is an uncommon, serious disease found in children where bleeding does not stop on its own. As we all know, if we get hurt on skin, there may be bleeding which stops automatically due to presence of some chemicals [called as Factor 8 (VIII) and 9 (IX)]. When these chemical factors are lacking in the blood, the bleeding does not stop on its own. This is exactly what happens in Hemophilia.

Hemophilia is a X linked genetic disorder caused as a result of the deficiency of factor VIII (hemophilia A) or factor IX (hemophilia B). It is a bleeding (coagulation) disorder where in the body impairs its ability to control the clotting of blood (stopping blood after blood vessel is cut).

Hemophilia is derived from the Greek word “Haimaphilia” where haima means blood and philia means love.

Incidence- Boys are more likely to get affected because of its X linked nature. As males have two X chromosomes they are likely to inherit and show symptoms. Whereas females have only one X chromosome hence they usually remain carriers of Hemophilia without any symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of Hemophilia
  • Bleeding on any part of the body, externally or internally. There could be bleeding on skin, bleeding from nose, ears, or bleeding in intestines, joints, brain, etc.
  • In the blood investigations, there is a normal bleeding time, thrombin time and prothrombin time but a prolonged partial thromboplastin time, hence there is a spontaneous prolonged bleeding compared to the normal individuals due to loss of factors.
  • Tendency to bleed in the joint space especially into the knee joints without any evident trauma which can also lead to permanent disfigurement and disability (Hemophilia arthropathy)
  • Children with mild to moderate hemophilia usually are symptom free but may have tendency to suffer from easy bruising and injuries due to frequent falls on walking.
  • Mild hemophilia may not be noticeable and be accidentally diagnosed after a prolonged bleeding in a dental procedure.
  • Hemophiliacs are prone to contract any infections like frequent cold and cough more easily compared to the normal individuals.
Complications
  • Joint damage due to haemarthrosis (hemophilic arthropathy)
  • Deep internal bleeding like intracranial hemorrhage which is a serious medical emergency
  • Transfusion infections like HIV and hepatitis C
  • Adverse reaction due to factor transfusion
Investigations

01. Complete blood count

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02. Partial thromboplastin time

03. Prothrombin time

04. Bleeding time

05. Clotting time

06. Genetic testing and genetic counseling for a mother who is a carrier

07. Prenatal testing like amniocentesis

Differential diagnosis (Similar diseases)

01. Von Willibrand disease may mimick hemophilia

02. Severe Vitamin K deficiency

Treatment of Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a difficult disease to manage. It calls for systematic and strategic integration of the conventional medicine as well as homeopathic medicine.

Conventional treatment

The ultimate treatment is to give factor VIII transfusions in hemophilia A or factor IX in Hemophilia B, which turn out to be very expensive. There is always a risk of contracting HIV and Hepatitis C during the transfusion of the factor concentrate. After a long term transfusion the patient becomes further immune and starts developing antibodies which moreover needs a different plan of treatment.

Homeopathic treatment of hemophilia

Certain studies by hematologists have shown efficacy of homeopathy for the management of Hemophilia. There are various homeopathic remedies, which prove to be useful in controlling the bleeding tendencies in hemophilia. These homeopathic medicines have an affinity for act on the blood vessels, capillaries and helps in accelerating the healing mechanism. They create varied pathogenesis in the major arteries and veins of the body causing hemorrhage, oozing, effusions and delayed healing and prolonged clotting time when taken in their crude (raw) doses.

The medicines like Lachesis, Crotalus horridus, Phosphorus, Millifolium and Ipecacuanha have anti-bleeding effects. They are known to stimulate the factors in the blood vessel in order to facilitate the healing process and stop bleeding.

Homeopathy in the treatment of hemophilia can be given as a supportive line of treatment especially in long standing cases. However acute exacerbations can be tackled with the conventional line of treatment. It has a good scope in homeopathy as it reduces the dependency on clotting factor concentrates which are expensive and may be not affordable by every individual.

Homeopathy is a cost-effective which helps in reducing frequency and intensity of bleeding episodes. The frequency and duration of bleeding, easy bruising can be reduced.

There is no threat of any side effects due to the long term homeopathic treatment. It is easy and safe to take homeopathic medications for a long time. These medications act at the immunity level. The immune system is boosted in order to avoid the recurrence of infections which occurs frequently in hemophiliacs. Cold and cough is a common entity found which can be taken care of with a correctly selected homeopathic remedy.

It can be concluded that homeopathy has a good scope in treating various parameters and presentation of hemophilia through an individualistic approach. Homeopathy assures to improve the quality of life of the patient and also help patient’s to lead an independent life by further increasing the life expectancy.

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