Monday, December 12, 2016

All About Von Willebrand Disease

Most people have heard of hemophilia, a blood disease causing people to injure easily and bleed more than normal. Von Willebrand Disease is a more common disease than hemophilia whose effects are the same. This disease affects about 1%of the U.S. population and is overlooked by people usually. One case was of a female who had this disease but was not aware. She always had heavy bleeding during her menstrual cycle but didn't think much of it until one day she was standing in a puddle of her own blood. She was then diagnosed with Von Willebrand disease. Many women such as her tend to overlook their heavy bleeding every month thinking it's normal.
Von Willebrand was a Finnish scientist who discovered this disease. The reason for the bleeding is due to the blood missing a key protein that causes it to clot. Although hemophilia and Von Willebrand disease both result in heavy bleeding due to an issue in blood clotting, their mechanisms are different. This results in heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle of even from a small injury. There's 3 types of Von Willebrand disease, type 1 being the mildest and types 2 and 3 being genetic. In addition to easy bruising and bleeding, people might experience bleeding gums from simply brushing their teeth or bleeding of their gastrointestinal tract. Bleeding is usually seen from more than one place. 
This disease can results in issues when it comes to pregnancy and child birth because of the possibility of the mother bleeding to death from giving birth. It's best to catch this disease early so infants can also be tested, especially since circumcision of little boys can also lead to heavy bleeding. 
Treatment for this disease can be surgery or taking medication that contains the Von Willebrand factor that helps blood restore its ability to clot. 


  1. I found it very interesting that Von Willebrand Disease is more common than hemophilia, but many people have never heard of this disorder. Since both deal with clotting issues I wonder what are the main differences between the two.

  2. This article was very interesting because I hadn't known about Von Willebrand Disease before reading this as hemophilia is more talked of. I agree with Krystal because both do have similar symptoms and so it would be interesting to know the difference.