Hemophilia is a rare, sex-linked disorder that happens when the blood doesn’t clot when it’s supposed to. Unlike ordinary people, those afflicted with hemophilia bleed for a long time, even when they get minor cuts. Unfortunately, this is not even the worst-case scenario. Sometimes, they suffer from internal bleeding, get their organs damaged, and even get their lives in danger due to bleeding.
As a disease, hemophilia is both rare and sex-linked. It usually occurs when a person does not have enough or does not have blood-clotting proteins (clotting factors) in the body that work with platelets. Excessive bleeding, heavy menstrual periods, large bruises, frequent nosebleeds, and painful and tight feelings in the joints are only some of the common symptoms of hemophilia.
Hemophilia may seem harmless, but the fact is, it can kill. Though it is pretty rare, there are times when even simple bumps can cause seizures and bleed into the brain of hemophiliacs. Unlike others, people who live with hemophilia are in constant danger, which is why it is essential to get it treated properly.
Though hemophilia is almost always genetic, it may also be because of the following causes.
Absence or Deficiency in Clotting Factors (Congenital Hemophilia)
One of the leading causes of hemophilia is genes. Sometimes, genes may mutate or change, and such change may result in the absence or deficiency of one of the genes that provide instructions for making all the 12 clotting factor proteins that the human body needs. The genetic mutation or change may also prevent the clotting protein from working correctly or be missing altogether. These genes are located on the X chromosome that both male and female children inherit from their mothers. Unfortunately, because male children only get one X chromosome from the parent, they are more likely to inherit the disease in case of abnormality in the genes. Thus, the disorder is inherited, causing the afflicted to be born with it (congenital), and is usually passed down through families among male children.
For females, mutation or change in the genes that provide instructions for making the clotting factor may cause females to become “carriers.” This means she can either be afflicted and show symptoms or pass the affected X chromosome on to her children.
Congenital or inherited hemophilia has two different types, each categorized according to which clotting factor is missing or inactive: Classic hemophilia and the Christmas disease.