Thrombophilia: what is it, symptoms, causes and treatment
Thrombophilia occurs when the person is more easily able to form blood clots, increasing the risk that some complications arise, such as a deep vein thrombosis, a cerebrovascular accident or a pulmonary embolism. Because of what people with this condition usually present some symptoms such as swelling in the body, inflammation of the legs or feeling of lack of air.
The clots formed by thrombophilia arise because the enzymes that are in charge of the blood clotting process cannot function properly. Thrombosis can occur due to hereditary, genetic causes, embarrassment, diseases acquired over a lifetime such as obesity, HIV or cancer and the ingestion of medications such as contraceptive pills or hormone replacement.
Thrombophilia increases the chances of thrombosis occurring in blood, so symptoms can arise in the event of complications such as:
- deep vein thrombosis: swelling of some part of the body, occurs mainly on legs that become inflamed, reddened and feel warm and tactful. Learn more about the symptoms of thrombosis;
- pulmonary embolism: intense pain under the ribs in a sharp way, intense shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and seas;
- LCA: the symptoms that generate will depend on the region of the brain affected and if they appear suddenly, as for example intense headache pain; tingling, swelling and even loss of movement on one side of the body; difficult to speak, listen or see; memory loss or mental confusion;
- Thrombosis in the placenta or umbilical cord: repeated abortions, premature birth and complications during embarazo such as eclampsia.
In many cases, the person generally does not know that they have thrombophilia until a sudden swelling occurs, suffers from frequent abortions or complications during the embarrassment. It is also common that it appears in older adults, and that the fragility of blood vessels caused by the age can facilitate the appearance of symptoms.
The disorder of blood coagulation that occurs in thrombophilia can be acquired over a lifetime or can be hereditary, transmitted from fathers to sons, through genetics. Why the main causes are:
The main causes of acquired thrombophilia are:
- Fracture of huesos;
- I embarrass the puerperium;
- Cardiac disorders, heart attack or heart failure;
- Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol;
- Use of medications such as oral contraceptives or hormone replacement;
- Being bedridden for many days, due to the completion of a surgery or a long-term hospitalization. It can also occur in cases of mental disorders such as advanced Alzheimer’s;
- Stay seated for a long time during a plane or bus trip;
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or antiphospholipid syndrome;
- Diseases caused by infections such as HIV, hepatitis C, syphilis or malaria;
People who have illnesses that increase the chances of thrombophilia, such as cancer, lupus or HIV, should carry out follow-up tests every time they are under medical control. Furthermore, to avoid thrombosis, it is important to adopt some preventive measures, such as controlling blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol, in addition to avoiding being stranded or stopped in situations of travel, during embarassment, puerperium or hospitalization.
The use of oral contraceptives should be avoided by women who have a greater risk of thrombophilia, such as those with high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of blood disorders.
The main causes of hereditary thrombophilia are:
- Deficiency of natural body anticoagulants called protein C, protein S and antithrombin;
- High concentration of homocysteine amino acid;
- Mutations in cells that form blood as occurs in the Leiden factor V mutation;
- Excess blood enzymes that cause clotting such as factor VII and fibrinogen.
Despite the fact that hereditary thrombophilias are transmitted by genetics, there are some precautions that can be taken to prevent the formation of clots, which are the similarities of acquired thrombophilia. In very serious cases, the hematologist may indicate the use of anticoagulant drugs, if necessary.
To diagnose this illness, the general physician or the hematologist will evaluate the present symptoms, personal, medical and family history of each person, in addition to requesting some tests such as a complete hematology and a blood chemistry to know where the glucose and blood values are. total cholesterol. In this way, it is possible to confirm the diagnosis and indicate the best treatment.
In case doctors look for hereditary thrombophilia, which mainly occurs when the symptoms are repetitive, in addition to the tests mentioned above, other tests are requested to assess the levels of blood clotting enzymes.
The treatment for thrombophilia is carried out with care to avoid cases of thrombosis such as:
- Avoid staying too long standing or sitting during a trip;
- Taking anticoagulant drugs during hospitalization or after surgery;
- Keeping control of diseases that increase the risk of clot formation such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity;
- In cases of serious illness, the doctor may recommend the continued use of anticoagulant drugs;
- It is also possible that the doctor recommends the use of thromboembolic media, which are graduated compression media that exert a small pressure on the legs so that the blood circulates upwards, improving circulation.
However, when the person has symptoms of thrombophilia, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, the doctor should recommend the use of oral anticoagulants for a few months, such as Heparin, Warfarin or Rivaroxabán. For the embarazadas, the treatment is carried out with injectable anticoagulants, and it is necessary to remain hospitalized for a few days to monitor the condition of both the baby and the mother.
Separate which are the most used anticoagulants and what they are for.
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