Hemophilia

People with hemophilia have blood that does not clot well. This means that when they get cut, they bleed much longer than is normal, even if it is a small cut. They do not bleed faster; they just bleed longer. This can lead to complications and death, especially if the person has internal bleeding. People can bleed for days if they do not have treatment. Hemorrhaging in the joints and muscles can be disabling. Small accidents can cause large bruises for people that have hemophilia. Since it is genetic, it is a life long disorder. Hemophilia is sex-linked and occurs in males of all races and ethnic groups. Nearly one in 10,000 male has this genetic disorder. It rarely is found in females- about one in 100,000,000 female has it. More than 15,000 people have hemophilia. Females who have hemophilia generally have mild symptoms that don't actively cause problems. Males cannot pass the gene to their sons, but can to their daughters. Hemophilia occurs when there is a mutation in a clotting factor gene, causing the blood to have few, or not any, blood clotting factors. Two of these genes are Factor VIII and Factor IX. The gene is recessive and is carried by the X-chromosome. Hemophilia A (Classic Hemophilias) and Hemophilia B (Christmas Disease) are two common types of the disorder. Genetic testing can be used to diagnose people with mild hemophilia. Doctors also use several blood tests or a complete blood count (CBC) to check for it. People who have hemophilia inject themselves with blood clotting factors to prevent bleeding episodes. Another treatment is to get blood transfusions. Hemophilia is known as the 'Royal Disease' because one of Queen Victoria's children had hemophilia and so hemophilia was passed down in the royal family- including to Anastasia's little brother.

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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is chronic and progressive and it affects the body's respiratory and digestive systems. People who have Cystic Fibrosis have unusually thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs. This leads to recurring sinus infections and difficulty breathing. Those with the disease may develop a barrel-shaped chest because of their increased efforts to breathe. Fleshy polyps develop in the nose due to the frequent infections. Clubbing of the feet and toes also occurs in people with the disorder. Sometimes, those with Cystic Fibrosis will cough up blood. Enlargement of the heart is another symptom of Cystic Fibrosis. The mucus also blocks digestive enzymes from reaching the intestine. This causes those affected to usually be very thin. People with Cystic Fibrosis have a higher concentration of salt in their sweat than normal people. About 30,000 children and young adults have this disorder. Males and females are equally likely to have it. Cystic Fibrosis occurs mostly in those of Caucasian ancestry. In order to have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) you must have two of the two abnormal copies of the genes. Cystic Fibrosis genes are recessive. The most popular Cystic Fibrosis test is called the sweat test in which they measure the amount of salt in one's sweat. At one time, earlier, people who had CF always died during childhood, but due to recent medical advances, those with CF can live to their 30s and possibly beyond. CF and CF-like disorders have been known about for over two centuries, but only recently have scientists and doctors come up with several treatments. Mostly, the treatments consists of improving the quality of life, giving the patient antibiotic drugs to clear up the mucus and physical therapy. For those with advanced Cystic Fibrosis, lung transplant is an option.

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