Blood Clotting Disorder Diagnosis

In the medical community, bleeding disorders are known as coagulation disorders. People who have bleeding disorders cannot properly form blood clots. Thus, people with coagulation disorders can suffer from severe bleeding from even the most minor cut.

People can suffer from a number of bleeding disorders. Some of the more common include:

  • Hemophilia: Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder that affects approximately 20,000 people in the United States. Hemophilia affects males more often than females. Symptoms include bruises and pain and swelling of the joints.
  • Hypoprothrombinemia: This is a congenital disorder marked by a deficiency of clotting factors. This condition can cause hemorrhage, bruising, nosebleeds and more.
  • Thrombocytopenia: Thrombocytopenia is a condition that is characterized by a lack of platelets circulating in the blood. It can be congenital (existing from birth) or acquired later in life. Symptoms include nosebleeds, bloody vomit, bleeding during surgery, heavy menstrual flow in women and more. Some patients, however, show no symptoms.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: This bleeding disorder is a hereditary condition characterized by a prolonged bleeding time caused by a clotting factor deficiency and impaired platelet function. Symptoms include bruising, nosebleeds, bloody stools and more.

While some people who suffer from coagulation disorders will show such symptoms, others will not.

In this section, we’ll discuss bleeding disorder diagnosis. We’ll offer information on the procedures and tests doctors will perform to diagnose coagulation disorders. In addition, we’ll provide you with a list of questions you can take with you when you go to your doctor’s office for a bleeding disorder appointment.

Bleeding Symptoms and Diagnosis

Bleeding disorder symptoms will vary depending on the type of coagulation disorder from which you suffer. Common symptoms of bleeding disorders include:

  • bloody stools
  • bloody vomit
  • excessive bleeding during surgery
  • fatigue
  • heavy menstrual flow in women
  • nosebleeds
  • severe bruising.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if you could have a bleeding disorder.

However, it is important to note that some people who have bleeding disorders won’t show any symptoms. Thus, it is important for you to visit your doctor regularly, especially if coagulation disorders run in your family.

To make a bleeding disorder diagnosis, a doctor will take your medical history as well as the medical history of your family. In addition, he will need to perform a series of blood tests. These tests will show, among other things, the presence of clotting factors, as well as the presence or absence of clotting factor inhibitors.

Depending on the coagulation disorder from which you may suffer, the doctor will likely need to perform additional tests to make a bleeding disorder diagnosis.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

When preparing for an appointment with your doctor, you’ll want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible. To get the most information about your bleeding disorder, it’s beneficial to bring a list of questions with you to your doctor’s office.

Coagulation disorder questions to ask include:

  • What is the cause of my excessive bleeding?
  • What lifestyle changes can I make to control my bleeding?
  • What treatment options are available for my bleeding disorder?

Prepare yourself for your appointment with a list of questions to ask your doctor.

Resources

Odle, Teresa (2002). Coagulation disorders. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the HealthAtoZ Web site: http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/common/standard/transform.jsp?requestURI=/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/coagulation_disorders.jsp.

The HealthCentralNetwork, Inc. (2001). Von Willebrand’s Disease. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the HealthScout.com Web site: http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/481/main.html#QuestionsToAskYourDoctorAboutVonWillebrand.