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Unsolved medical issue

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Unsolved medical issue

Postby optimusprimev20 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:37 am

So really im just looking someone to point me in the right direction to further do research. My g/f's family has a history of chronic nose bleeds and red spots under the skin after reaching an age of 30-40 years and older. Her grandfather actually is in need to a blood transfer because of this chronic nose bleed. He has seen doctors and no one knows whats wrong with him. It seems to be genetic however since other family members are also affected. I was wondering what this seems like? Perhaps its autoimmune or the body isn't sufficiently making the lining of the vessels appropriately. Should i suggest high vitamin K? thank you for your suggestions...
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Postby biohazard » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:44 am

Have they tested the clotting time of blood? Blood clot problems are one reason for nose bleeds and bleeding under the skin. As a kid I had a lot of nose bleeding and later they tested my blood clotting time and noticed it was somewhat longer than normal. I guess the upside is that I am at reduced risk of blood clots and embolia :)

However, my condition does not affect normal life in anyway, and I don't even have much bruising or other symptoms, but I still get a nose bleed now and then.

As far as I know, vitamin K deficiency is rare with people that have normal diets, but there is probably no harm in trying to supplement it, as low vitamin K levels can indeed cause bleeding.

Another possible reason is a low platelet count. Low platelet numbers cause bleeding in a similar manner. It may be caused by an autoimmune disease where the body forms antibodies against its own platelets, thus reducing their numbers and causing bleeding. The disease may have a genetic risk factor, but I am not entirely sure about this.

There are also several other disorders that can cause similar symptoms, some of which are very rare.

But in any case, long clotting times would suggest that the problem lies within the blood clot pathway. If the time is normal, then it could be an anatomical problem (septum anomaly, splenic problem affecting erythrocytes or something else).

Still, quite impossible to make anything but guesses here on the forum, I hope your doctors have some idea about what they are doing :)
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