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Von Willebrand Disease
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Know Everything About Von Willebrand Disease

Every time we get injured, we bleed. But, have you ever wondered, why does the bleeding stop after some time? It happens because of blood clotting that takes place due to a protein present in our blood. However, people suffering from Von Willebrand Disease find it difficult to stop bleeding due to difficulty in blood clotting.

Von Willebrand Disease or VWD is a type of bleeding disorder, where one experienced unusual bleeding after an injury or surgery. Women find it even harder to deal with VMD, especially during their menstrual periods. Severe cases of VWD may also lead to anemia and be fatal too. 

Von Willebrand Disease

Let us help you understand all that is important to know about Von Willebrand factor, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

What is the Von Willebrand Factor?

VWF or Von Willebrand Factor is a protein found in the blood that helps in blood clotting. It is a large adhesive glycoprotein that is essential for platelet adhesion at the injury site. When VWF is low or affected, one may experience difficulty in blood clotting. 

Types of Von Willebrand Disease

There are 3 main types of Von Willebrand Disease and they are:

1. Type 1 VWD: This is the most common type of Von Willebrand Disease in which a person suffers from mild bleeding symptoms or no symptoms at all. 

2. Type 2 VWD: In this type of VWD, a person may experience mild to moderate bleeding. 

3. Type 3 VMD: This is the rarest and most severe type of VWD, where a person has a negligible amount of VMF in blood. 

Von Willebrand Disease Causes

The most apparent cause of VWD is heredity. Many people inherit it from their parents. Type 1 and Type 2 of VWD are generally caused when VWD is passed on to you through the genes of the parents. Besides, in some cases, there is abnormal functioning of the VWF, that results in this disease, which leads to difficulty in blood clotting. 

Von Willebrand Disease Symptoms

Talking about how to know whether what you are experiencing is Von Willebrand Disease or something else, you need to be aware of its symptoms. Some common symptoms of VWD are:

  • Heavy and Profuse Bleeding after an Injury or Surgery
  • Bloody Stool or Urine
  • Women Experiencing Heavy Menstrual Bleeding 
  • Easy Bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding Gums

 

Von Willebrand Disease Diagnosis

In order to diagnose whether you are suffering from Von Willebrand Disease symptoms, your doctor may first ask you about your family history. It is because one of the major causes of VWD is family history or genes. Besides, he/she may suggest you undergo some blood tests to detect the presence of the Von Willebrand Factor in your blood. It may also happen that your blood test is done not once but multiple times to confirm whether it is VWD or something else. 

Von Willebrand Disease Treatment

Identifying an effective treatment for Von Willebrand Disease depends on the type of symptoms one is experiencing. Some of the common Von Willebrand Disease Treatments are:

1. Desmopressin

To boost up the levels of VWF in blood, doctors usually prescribe the hormone called Desmopressin. This hormone is either inhaled through the nose or injected into a vein. This is considered to be the most widely used treatment for VWD. 

2. VWF Infusions

To treat bleeding caused due to low levels of VWF, your doctor may prescribe you prophylactic therapy, also known as VWF infusions. These infusions help in bringing the VWF protein levels back to normal in your blood. 

3. Birth Control Pills

Another successful way of treating VWD is by going on birth control pills. Women can enhance the estrogen level in their bodies through these pills, which ultimately help in increasing the Von Willebrand Factor level in their blood. 

4. Antifibrinolytics

These are the medicines that stop blood clots to break down. Usually, patients about to undergo any dental treatment or women who are experiencing heavy menstrual periods are prescribed these medicines to prevent profuse bleeding.

The Bottom Line

Since Von Willebrand Disease is an inherited disease, there is hardly any way to prevent it. All one can do is follow up with a doctor to increase the Von Willebrand Factor in the blood in various ways. Once this VWF is enhanced, the problem of bleeding will normalize on its own. 

FAQs

What happens in Von Willebrand Disease?

Von Willebrand Disease or VWD is a type of blood disorder, wherein your blood doesn’t clot properly. One of the main proteins found in the blood that helps in blood clotting is known as Von Willebrand Factor or VWF. 

What is the difference between hemophilia and Von Willebrand Disease?

Both hemophilia and Von Willebrand are bleeding disorders. It has been observed that VWD is seen both in men and women, while hemophilia is seen generally in men. Moreover, in hemophilia, patients tend to report bleeding from their joints, which is not the case in VWD. Besides, women suffering from VWD report experiencing heavy menstrual periods as compared to women suffering from hemophilia. 

What are the 3 types of Von Willebrand Disease?

The three main types of Von Willebrand Disease are VWD Type 1, VWD Type 2, and VWD Type 3. All these three types are categorized based on pattern and severity levels. Type 1 is the mildest form of VWD, whereas Type 3 is the severest form of VWD. 

What foods to Avoid with Von Willebrand?

The following foods must be avoided with Von Willebrand Disease:

1. Soft Drinks
2. Sweet Candies
3. Sauces and Heavy Gravies
4. Full-Fat Dairy Products
5. Trans Fat
6. Fried and Junk Food
7. Juices in Large Quantities
8. Shortening, Butter, and Lard

Is Von Willebrand Curable?

There is no cure or treatment for Von Willebrand because no outside factor causes this disease. It is an inherited disease from genes. So, one may expect some relief only by increasing the protein responsible for blood clotting, called Von Willebrand Factor or VWF. 

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