Regardless of gender, health issues can affect just about anyone. There are also other predisposing factors for acquiring a plethora of health problems, aside from sex. More than a few severe concerns have been attributed to genetic predisposition, which runs in the blood. An example of a gene-related health problem is thrombophilia. This disorder manifests as venous thromboembolism if left unmanaged.
For those unfamiliar with the term, venous thromboembolism refers to the body’s increased likelihood of developing blood clots, notably in the deep veins of the lower leg, thigh, or occasionally the arm. Unfortunately, blood clots are often undetected and underdiagnosed, increasing the possibility of having a more severe illness, even fatality.
With scientific breakthroughs, clot-related issues are quickly identified and addressed appropriately before more complications occur. In recent studies, the practice of hormone therapy is causing due controversy. While many people see them as effective to an extent, there are some considerations to be pondered. Specifically, there is a concern in using pregnenolone and hormones on people with blood clotting problems.
The Factor V Leiden Mutation
The human body accommodates 10 pints of blood, which accounts for roughly 10% of the adult weight. When a blood vessel suffers an injury, it needs to clot or coagulate, so blood is not lost excessively. Clotting is a good thing. However, if clotting occurs in systems where it is not welcome, it becomes a problem. Factor V Leiden is a particular case to look at where clotting is involved, affecting about 1 in 5,000 people.
This disorder is a mutation of the human factor V gene, a substance that promotes blood clotting. Your body has a protein that inactivates the coagulation Factor V gene. However, due to the mutation, Factor V Leiden deters this ability, resulting in increased clotting. Simply phrased, Factor V Leiden means the F5 gene cannot make your body’s anti-clotting protein. Hence, the body suffers from an easy formation of abnormal clots.
Is Factor V Leiden a life-threatening health problem?
The diagnosis of Factor V Leiden leads to its easy treatability. Laboratory tests that check the person’s DNA and genetic make-up can help detect the clotting problem early. By identifying the risk factors for acquiring this illness, such as increasing age, having faulty genes, obesity, and physical injuries, you can decide whether to have yourself checked for this mutation.
People with Factor V Leiden are generally not in grave danger of experiencing severe complications unless the blood clots lodge in major organs like the lungs and heart. Consequently, the person suffers from a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, in which case it is considered fatal. If left undiagnosed or worse, untreated, the problem with Factor V Leiden mutation is that it gets harder to manage.
Does hormone replacement therapy work?
Typical medications to combat Factor V Leiden are blood-thinners, preventing clot formation, and reducing future clot occurrences. However, even if you are on blood-thinning medications, you should not be too complacent. Prolonged usage of these may do the opposite of clotting and make your blood thinner, leading to easy bleeding. Consult with your doctor regarding your dosage to avoid this complication.
At present, there is a question of whether hormone supplementation can address the issue of clotting. Since millions of women turn to this treatment, it is essential to note if hormone therapy effectively reduces embolism. Interestingly, the results indicate otherwise.
On the contrary, the use of oral contraceptives has been known to aggravate the issue of blood clotting. Likewise, taking hormones, such as pregnenolone and estrogen, results in the same. In actuality, oral contraceptive usage and hormone therapy play a role in worsening the risk of clotting. For postmenopausal women with Factor V Leiden mutation, oral hormone replacement has been associated with developing blood clots.
The Factor V Leiden mutation is essentially manageable. Nevertheless, you should be informed of the risks it poses to one’s health. For those on hormonal supplementation, you should balance the risks of turning to hormone replacement therapy, mainly because it is a known contributor to more clotting. Knowing your vulnerability to developing blood clots may save you from potentially harmful and life-threatening complications.