An increased tendency to bleeding, also called hemorrhagic diathesis, can have various causes. In addition to the causal treatment of the bleeding tendency, precautionary measures contribute to the safety of those affected.
What is increased tendency to bleed?
If an affected person has an increased tendency to bleed, this manifests itself as bleeding that lasts too long and / or bleeding that is too heavy compared to the injury suffered. In addition, an increased tendency to bleed can lead to spontaneous bleeding for which no external cause can be identified.
The typical symptoms that can express an increased tendency to bleeding include the frequent occurrence of hematomas (bruises) for no apparent reason. In addition, depending on the clinical picture, skin hemorrhages of various types can show in an affected person:
If there is extensive bleeding, this is also referred to as suffusion in medicine. If, on the other hand, there are, for example, a lot of small skin hemorrhages, this is what is known as purpura; visually, this phenomenon can easily be confused with a rash.
While a very high bleeding tendency occurs comparatively rarely in the population, weak forms are more common.
An increased tendency to bleed can have different causes. First of all, the presence of coagulation disorders should be mentioned in this context. If such a coagulation disorder is present, the so-called coagulation factors are limited or completely absent in an affected person.
Since the coagulation factors in humans are formed in the liver, almost every serious functional disorder of the liver is accompanied by a coagulation disorder. The comparatively rare hemophilia is also one of the coagulation disorders. Last but not least, blood-thinning medication can cause an increased tendency to bleeding in the context of coagulation disorders.
Often an increased tendency to bleeding is also due to a lack of red blood cells. This can be caused, for example, by autoimmune reactions or (like the coagulation disorders) by certain medication. Finally, unstable / brittle blood vessels (e.g. due to illnesses or the natural aging process) can also lead to an increased tendency to bleed.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
In most cases, despite this disease, an ordinary life can be led without complications. However, those affected have to protect their bodies from various injuries and dangers, as even very minor injuries can lead to profuse bleeding. The bleeding cannot simply be stopped and does not stop on its own, so medical intervention is always necessary.
In the worst case, the affected person can die of the disease if he loses too much blood. The patients often suffer from bleeding gums or from nosebleeds, which significantly reduces the quality of life of those affected. In the case of surgical interventions or other medical interventions in particular, the respective doctor must be warned about the disease in order to avoid complications and other complaints.
Patients often have low blood pressure and, in some cases, dizziness. You can also lose consciousness and injure yourself from a fall. Furthermore, the disease has a negative effect on the patient’s resilience, so that they often appear tired and ailing. In some cases, the high bleeding tendency also leads to psychological complaints or depression.
Diagnosis & course
Depending on the suspected cause of an increased tendency to bleed, a doctor can use various diagnostic tools. If, for example, it is to be checked whether the increased bleeding tendency is due to vascular damage, this can be done with the help of a blood pressure cuff on the arm, for example.
If a slightly inflated cuff leads to pinhead-sized spots on the skin after a few minutes, this indicates that the blood vessels are fragile. Blood clotting disorders and / or red blood cell dysfunction can be diagnosed with special blood tests.
The course of an increased bleeding tendency depends on the respective causes; if the causes can be treated or if they go away on their own, the bleeding tendency can also recede. Hemophilia, for example, cannot be cured; Symptoms can be limited by taking appropriate precautionary measures.
If there is an increased tendency to bleed, various complications can arise as the blood of the person concerned coagulates very slowly or not at all. Affected people suffer more from nosebleeds, for example. Even small injuries inside the nose can cause profuse bleeding.
If such bleeding cannot be stopped at all, this complication can be counteracted with the help of permanent cooling. Bleeding gums are also not infrequently excessive. Under certain circumstances, the gums can become inflamed if the affected area is attacked by bacteria or other impurities. In the worst case scenario, pus fluid forms, which can collect in an abscess.
If such a clinical picture is present, a doctor should be consulted immediately. Otherwise there is a risk of blood poisoning, which can even be fatal. If there is an increased tendency to bleed, bruises naturally occur much more quickly. A hematoma can form even with very slight vibrations or with little pressure.
Of course, a “bruise” is not a real complication to investigate by a doctor. However, complications can arise in the healing process. If the blood collects under the skin, a negative pressure is created. For quick and effective treatment, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor should be consulted as soon as bleeding cannot be stopped with your own aids. If a wound is bleeding for a particularly long or intense period, there is cause for concern. A doctor should be consulted if symptoms such as dizziness, noticeable paleness or general weakness develop. If the person concerned can no longer walk on his own or if he suffers from an immense loss of strength, he needs medical treatment. If spontaneous bleeding occurs repeatedly, this should be clarified by a doctor.
Bruising that occurs for no apparent reason or from mild tremors should be investigated. If they spread on the body or remain for several weeks, they should be presented to a doctor. Unusual nosebleeds that occur for no reason and persist should be discussed with a doctor. If the person concerned suffers from bleeding gums, care is also required. A medical examination is necessary because germs can enter the organism through the open areas, which can lead to further illnesses or inflammations.
If pus forms, a fever sets in, or if impaired consciousness occurs, a doctor’s visit is necessary. With the loss of consciousness there is already an immense loss of blood. A doctor should therefore be consulted as soon as possible or an emergency doctor should be called.
Treatment & Therapy
Just like the course of an increased tendency to bleed, an individual therapy is initially dependent on the underlying causes. A bleeding tendency does not always require treatment; for example, some mild forms caused by platelet impairment often heal on their own.
If the cause of a tendency to bleeding can be clearly determined and if this is both in need of treatment and treatable, then combating the cause is a first therapeutic goal; If the increased bleeding tendency is due to an autoimmune disease, the first step is to treat the underlying disease. If, on the other hand, drugs are responsible for an increased bleeding tendency, it is sometimes possible to replace them with similar drugs.
Treatment of hemophilia primarily includes behavioral measures designed to largely avoid injuries or risky operations. If the bleeding tendency is very strong or if operations are planned in advance, for example, platelets can be replaced or supplemented with special platelet concentrates, depending on the cause. Various coagulation factors can also be added to the organism of an affected person through genetically engineered preparations.
Outlook & forecast
It is very difficult to predict an exact outlook and prognosis in the event of an increased bleeding tendency, as this clinical picture can occur in different degrees of severity. Affected people bleed profusely even with the smallest injuries. The clotting of the blood is defective in such cases, so that a large amount of blood loss can occur without medical treatment.
In the case of bruises and bumps, hematomas occur much more quickly, so that internal bleeding can also occur under certain circumstances. If such a blood coagulation disorder is left without any treatment, then in the worst case scenario, death from bleeding to death threatens. However, if the person concerned opts for medical and drug treatment, then an existing blood clotting disorder can be remedied.
For a positive prognosis, however, it is important that the cause of this increased bleeding tendency is found. Only by eliminating the cause can a positive prognosis be promised. Those who ultimately opt for such treatment can count on a full and smooth recovery.
It is difficult to prevent the development of an increased tendency to bleed. If, on the other hand, a tendency to bleeding is already known, various precautionary measures can protect against risky situations (for example skill training against falls or avoiding risky sports). In the case of various forms of increased bleeding tendency, coagulation factors or other drugs can be injected / administered as a preventive measure.
An increased tendency to bleed often requires follow-up care. However, this looks different depending on the cause of the increased bleeding tendency. For example, persistent nosebleeds can be attributed to different causes that require different treatment. In many cases where there is an increased tendency to bleed, no medical follow-up is required.
If you have hemophilia, you should proceed differently with regard to follow-up care than with an enlarged blood vessel in the nose or taking a blood-thinning drug such as Marcumar. As an inherited coagulation disorder, hemophilia requires lifelong follow-up care. But not the obliteration of a continuously bleeding vessel in the nose. The bleeding nose that bleeds due to Marcumar ingestion, as a deliberately produced coagulation disorder, requires care.
But follow-up care is probably not necessary if the bleeding has been stopped successfully. However, the Marcumar regulation is always monitored. It is used for the medically necessary blood thinning after a thrombosis or a stroke.
In the case of hemorrhagic diathesis, preventive care comes before follow-up care. However, if there is leukemia, which is indicated by an increased tendency to bleed and hematoma, follow-up care after the actual treatment is inevitable. In most cases, however, there is only slight bleeding if there is an increased tendency to bleed, for example in the skin of aging people. This doesn’t require any aftercare unless it’s cosmetic.
You can do that yourself
If there is an increased tendency to bleed, the elimination of the causes is paramount. In other cases, an individual therapy must be worked out. This can be supported by a number of self-help measures.
For example, blood coagulation can be regulated by dietary measures (e.g. dietary supplements with protein, zinc and vitamins) or a change in lifestyle. Living consciously helps those affected reduce the risk of acute bleeding.
On the one hand, this includes avoiding risky situations and dangerous sports. On the other hand, the risk of injury can be reduced through targeted skill and balance training. In general, regular exercise also helps. Other measures that regulate blood flow also help if there is an increased tendency to bleed.
The main focus of the therapy, however, is the causal treatment of the blood coagulation disorder. Often a certain drug is responsible for the disease, which can be discontinued in consultation with the doctor. Or there is an inherited disease such as hemophilia that needs to be diagnosed and treated with preventive measures. Last but not least, people with an increased tendency to bleed should always have an emergency ID with them. In the event of an accident or fall, targeted treatment is possible.